ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Ahsan Iqbal Friday said it was imperative for Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) to take initiatives to develop social safety nets for the orphans, special persons and widows in order to make Pakistan a real welfare state.
The minister said mental poverty offer more serious challenges than to overcome economic poverty; mindset of poverty, culture of disappointment and negativity, looking at the darkest side were the root causes of disparity in our society.
He expressed these views while addressing as a chief guest at the launch of series of research studies titled “Population of Pakistan: An analysis of NSER 2010-2011”.
Chairperson, Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) Marvi Memon and Vice Chancellor PIDE Dr Asad Zaman were also present on the occasion.
Ahsan Iqbal lauded the efforts undertaken by the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) in eradicating poverty and thereby maintained that over the time BISP had developed a unique data bank which serve as a source of evidence based studies and enables to device effective policy.
He further appreciated the role of BISP as National Social Safety Net.
Ahsan Iqbal stressed the need for developing human resource which was one of the fundamental drivers for development and economic growth.
Human resource and social development was the first pillar of Vision 2025 and government was committed to put into necessary efforts in this area allocating all required funding and making investments to achieve the goal of building quality human resource in the country.
The minister said, 20th century belonged to political ideologies but 21st century belongs to economic ideologies.
He further added that an economically weak nation was a failed nation in every field. Economic growth, equitable wealth distribution and competitive societies were pivotal in eliminating poverty.
“We have made commendable progress towards achieving macroeconomic stability,” the minister added.
He said, in 2013, international media was terming Pakistan as the most dangerous country but today the same media and global financial institutions were recognizing it as a safe haven for investment, manufacturing hub and emerging markets in Asia.
The minister said, “Political stability, continuity of policies and social harmony are elements inevitable for the development.”
He urged on promoting positive narrative of the country in the world by highlighting the success stories in various fields. Positive thinking and self-belief were key to success in today’s world of competitiveness.
Ahsan Iqbal highlighted the achievements made by the government in economy, education, energy and elimination of extremism.
He said the improved indicators in all sectors show that today Pakistan was much better than it was in 2013 and the government was committed to bring Pakistan among top 25 economies of the world by 2025.
These research studies were conducted by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), in collaboration with UNICEF, on National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER) 2010-2011 of BISP.
These reports highlight six themes at national and regional levels with comparative analysis; population dynamics, poverty profile, child education, youth and employment participation, disabled population and housing conditions that would further help to design appropriate policies not only at BISP level but at national level as well.