ISLAMABAD - A national consultation workshop to review Waseela-e-Rozgar initiative of Benazir Income Support Programme was held at BISP Secretariat on Monday.

The meeting was presided over by Chairman BISP Enver Baig. Revision of Waseela-e-Rozgar initiative by the current government is on the cards for quite some time and many meetings in this regard have been held with various stakeholders. During a meeting between Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif and Chairman BISP, it was decided that a national level consultation workshop will be conducted, which would take all the provinces on board by including their representatives in the consultation process.

During the meeting, Baig pointed out that previously the Waseela-e-Rozgar was poorly conceived and planned. As a result of this, there is no data available of whether the vocational training imparted by BISP had any effect on the employment opportunities of the beneficiaries. He said that the current government has decided to improve this initiative by involving different Chambers of Commerce and Industry, which will determine the trades of vocational training as per the demands of local market. Baig also said that the employment opportunities in international markets would also be kept under consideration and the trainees would be facilitated for overseas jobs as well.

The chairman BISP stressed the importance of promoting entrepreneurship and said that the beneficiaries, who will complete their training through BISP, will also be facilitated through interest free loans for establishing their own means for livelihood.

He said that the purpose of this review is to make sure that the initiatives are designed in a way that can lift the beneficiaries of BISP out of abject poverty, rather than being just a burden on the national exchequer keeping in view the Prime Minister's vision of empowering poorest of the poor.

The purpose of the workshop was to determine the capacities of different provinces as per the training requirements of BISP beneficiaries.

As a result of discussions, a Core Committee for review of Waseela-e-Rozgar was established for finalising the proposals and submitting a report to Prime Minister of Pakistan for final approval.