ISLAMABAD (APP) - President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday launched the 'Special Persons - Special Cards scheme of the government describing it as a 'far reaching initiative to address the needs of disabled and special persons. Briefing the media about the event spokesperson former Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the initiative launched on Monday will enable persons with disabilities to avail the 2 per cent reserved seats each in jobs and in professional colleges, fifty per cent fare concession in air, road and rail fares, insurance coverage and micro credit from banks. In addition the card holders will be entitled to provision of artificial limbs and preferential treatment at public places. The President announced duty free import of vehicles, immediate amendments in building regulations to ensure special access to handicapped, wheel chair access on streets and provision of special mandatory parking space for the disabled people. He also announced a special committee headed by Minister for Social Welfare to ensure implementation of these announcements. The President said that he will meet once in three months with disabled people and make Pakistan a country that will be known as disabled friendly country. Talking with disabled persons the President also declared intention to convert the Special Persons Card into a vehicle that will cover many other facilities in due course of time so as to address all needs of the special persons. Empowering the disadvantaged and dispossessed sections of the society was a dream of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and the present government is determined to emancipate deprived sections of society including women, minorities and the disabled and other vulnerable sections of society, the President said. The President also gave away special cards to the special persons at the ceremony that was attended among others by Minister for Social Welfare Samina Khalid Ghurki, Secretary General to the President Salman Farouqi, MD Baitul Mal Chaudhry Zammurad Khan, Secretary Social Welfare, MNAs and senior government officials besides a large number of special persons. Just as BISP Cards empower a vulnerable section of society namely women, the special cards scheme is designed to empower special people through special means the President said. Farhatullah Babar said that on the occasion the President also emphasised the need for stepping up issuance of general identity cards to the citizens and directed NADRA to prepare a comprehensive plan to ensure that every eligible citizen got computerised identity card within one year and no one is left without this basic document. He said that the present pace of issuance of CNICs was unacceptably slow and was a matter of concern. The President said that he had already issued directions recently that a plan be prepared and got approved by the Cabinet within one month in this regard. Every eligible citizen should have a CNIC by August next year, Farhatullah Babar said quoting the President. Talking about the disabled people the President said that they are special people with special rights and it was the responsibility of society to structure itself in a way that met their needs as well. Paying tributes to them the President said that the special persons had taught us that human will and determination can conquer any disability. Your presence here today is a demonstration of the fact that men and women possessing will and determination can defy all the disabilities, the President said. The President said that the disabled have taught us, who suffer from no mental or physical disability, that we will never be able to count the blessings of Allah for bestowing a life free of any disability to pursue a life according to their desires. Farhatullah Babar said that on the Disabled Day on December 3 last the President had asked the government to take urgent steps and devise practical measures to address the needs of special people. Recalling his message on the Disabled Day the President urged the government to ensure that all new development projects are disabled friendly and to consider carrying out modifications in the buildings already in place to make those accessible to special persons. We need to create barrier free environment for the disabled persons for their integration in the society, the President said. The President said he would ask the government to set up special centers at all district headquarters. He advised the government that initially one school in every district be converted into a special education centre to cater to the needs of special children. The President said he will recommend the government that the teachers for special education, who are still in BPS 17 for the past ten years be promoted to the next grade. The President said a special category will be created to accommodate the special children in Benazir Income Support Program.