Financial constraints mar Baitul Maal’s welfare projects

ISLAMABAD: Having the largest network capable of reaching out to destitute and needy ones throughout the country, Pakistan Baitul Maal (PBM) finds it hard to deliver efficiently when financial constraints hits its people-welfare projects. The capacity of organization to outnumber Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) also paled away in the face of dearth of financial resources, said Abid Waheed Sheikh Managing Director (MD) Pakistan Bait-u-Maal when he talked to Daily Times exclusively on Sunday.
He said the PBM has established its network in 136 districts of Pakistan and has been serving the masses from 1992. He added that PBM is serving the nation in different fields like education, social development, skill development and health. Responding to question Abid Waheed said we have taken “austerity” measures to control the expenditure of the organization and we have taken steps to make the structural changes within the organization to avoid the lethargy observed by the staffers regarding the quick delivery to the needy and deserving emergency patients begging for their treatments on government expenditure.
He claimed that on his direction, PBM has installed an automated attendance system to prevent the old culture of absenteeism from the office and he has directed the staff to serve the poor and needy people on priority basis. Despite, having the largest network all over Pakistan the organization has a meagre amount to manage the charity work throughout the country, he complained.  It is the oldest and largest social sector window opened by the Federal Government for the betterment of the deserving and downtrodden segments of the society, he added.
He said a huge amount would be needed to PBM from the government to meet its expenditure during the fiscal year 2014. He claimed that millions of rupees were allocated for nurturing PBM projects Pakistan Sweet Homes (PSH), Pakistan Great Homes (PGH), Vocational (VDS) and Diversified Vocational (Dastkari) Schools (DVDS), National Centers for Rehabilitation of Child Labour (NCRCL). Also Child Support Program (CSP), Individual Financial Assistance (IFA) and Institutional Rehabilitation (IR). The federal government has spent Rs 168.105 million on PSH, Rs 1.288 million on PGH, Rs. 136.252 million on VDS and DVDS, Rs 285.309 million on NCRCL, Rs 31.603 million on CSP, Rs 900.000 million on IFA and Rs 12.204 million on IR within the current fiscal year, he said.
Giving the details, he said PSH is a project for orphan children of 4-6 years and presently 30 PSH are functional wherein 3,300 children are residing. PGH is for senior citizens wherein 30 senior citizens are residing. VDS and DVDS projects are for women empowerment and presently 160 VDS and DVDS with 60 trainees in each centre are functional. NCRCL project is for eradicating child labour by ensuring universalisation of primary education and presently 159 centres exist. CSP project is for the education for economic rehabilitation and presently there are 32,000 households registered. IFA is for the rehabilitation of poorest of the poor. 
IR provides grant in aid to registered non government organizations (NGOs), trust and foundations for the rehabilitation of poor he added. Talking about the new initiatives of PBM Abid Waheed said “one window operation” for speedy disposal of IFA case and added the economic revival initiative is for providing of loans up to Rs 60,000 for small businesses to the people for setting up cottage industry for self-sustenance. The “Tameer-e-Sehat” initiative is for reducing the infant mortality rate and subsequent disability basic vaccination course for infants and children. Health insurance initiative is for providing basic health facilities to the poor without delay health insurance policy for poor in collaboration with National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) he added. Office automation initiative is for speedy disposal of work and a step forward towards the paperless environment, office automation for all sections in PBM. 

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