Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) is the federal government's cash-based poverty alleviation program in Pakistan. Launched in July 2008, the scheme is the largest security scheme in the country at a cost of billions of rupees. In 2016, Rs 90 billion was distributed to 5.4 million beneficiaries.

Benazir Income Support Scheme has been implemented in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The project also operates in the federally administered territory of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the Capital Territory of Islamabad.

How was BISP started?

Benazir Income Support Scheme was established in 2008 by Yousaf Raza Gillani on the instructions of President Asif Ali Zardari. The program is named after Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister and wife of President Asif Ali Zardari, who was assassinated in 2007.

Since 2005, the purchasing power of many Pakistani families has been destroyed by high inflation and rising food and fuel prices. BISP emerged to address this problem as a way to deal with shrinking supply. In addition to its economic development goals, BISP also aims to empower women by providing cash directly to women in families. BISP is currently Pakistan's largest program and the third largest government budget allocation. BISP accounts for 0.3% of Pakistan's GDP.

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Who is eligible?

  • To be eligible for BISP cash, a family's monthly income must be less than Rs 6,000.
  • Must be a female applicant with valid ID at home.
  • Applicants must be widowed or divorced with no male family members.
  • Eligible families include people with physical or mental disabilities.
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Who is not eligible?

Families who cannot receive cash from BISP include:

  • Employed by the Pakistani government, military or other members of the government employed by affiliated organizations.
  • Retired or post-retired members receiving government assistance.
  • Family members have more than 3 hectares of agricultural land or more than 80 square meters of residential area.
  • Members who earn income from other sources.
  • Members who are passport holders.
  • Members have an immigration identification card for foreign nationals.
  • Microfinance banks and Members with bank accounts, except for banks serving low-income families.

Benefits of the Benazir Income Support Program

8,500 per month cash payments are available to eligible families. This amount increases the purchasing power of a family by 20 percent from Rs 2,800 per month. Most low-income families spend only 50 to 70 percent of their total income on food. According to BISP, a monthly payment of Rs 8,500 or Rs 2,833 can buy 20-25 days of flour for a family of 5-6 members.

Read also: Easy way to register for Ehsaas through BISP office for 2024


It helps improve the economic resources of the poor and their families. It develops and implements comprehensive policies and programs to improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable. It reduces poverty and promotes equitable distribution of wealth, especially for low-income people. BISP operates across the country with its headquarters in the federal capital Islamabad and 6 regional offices in the capital AJK. There are 33 District Offices and 385 Tehsil Offices across the country.

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