The National Cash Transfer Programme, BISP, was initiated in 2008 by the Government of Pakistan with the support of the World Bank and other donors with the immediate objective of mitigating the impact of rampant inflation, especially food and fuel inflation, faced by the poor. Over the years, it has become the country’s main safety net programme and has the largest number of beneficiaries of all public initiatives. The wider objective of (BISP) is to establish a nation-wide social safety net programme – in line with the National Social Protection Strategy – with effective and transparent targeting and delivery mechanisms. BISP is being administered in all four provinces Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa as well as Gilgit-Baltistan, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the Islamabad Capital Territory. The cash transfer is designed only for women who qualify based on a Poverty Score Card which uses a Proxy Means Test (PMT) to identify eligible households. Those with scores of 16.17 or less qualify as they fall in the poverty bandwidth defined as chronic poverty. BISP is now including those who have a score of up to 20, who can become an eligible if they meet any one of the following criteria:
presence of one or more members with disability; or
presence of one or more senior citizens (over 65 years of age); or
size of household of 3 or less; or
household with 4 or more children under 12 years of age.