Friday, 20 March 2015

Enumerating success: designing the Benazir Income Support Programme

by Azmat Budhani

Benazir Bhutto, clipboard and pen

Copyright: Dawn archive; Source:

The appointment of the energetic Marvi Memon as Chairperson has signalled a welcome revival of interest in the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) at the highest levels of government.  BISP was partly an upshot of the slogan “Benazir aaygee rozgar laaygee” (Benazir is coming, she will bring employment) in the election manifesto of Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP).  The cash transfer programme was introduced in 2008 when the PPP and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) were in coalition, to help families cope with a sharp hike in food prices.  It later became a flagship social protection programme and was enacted into law with unanimous cross-party support in both houses of parliament.