The federal government has just launched a programme which is aimed at providing relief to the low-income people. The programme has been named after PPP Chairperson Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto as the Benazir Income Support Programme in order to translate into reality, at least to some extent, cherished dream of the twice former PM to keep doing something or the other for the welfare and well-being of the poor people without any discrimination and distinction whatsoever. The programme, which formed part of the relief measures announced with the federal budget for current financial year in June last, has been set in motion in the right earnest after its formal inauguration by President Zardari as yet another tribute to Mohtarma Benazir. Earlier than the inauguration of the Benazir Income Support Programme, Federal Information Minister Sherry Rahman had spelt out all details of the relief-oriented programme while addressing a press conference. There is no point in going into the details as how much relief would be provided, who is eligible and how many families are expected to directly benefit from it as the federal minister has already given all the relevant facts and figures. Some questions have arisen in the minds of the people regarding the procedure as well as transparency and fairness as a big amount of Rs 34 billion is to be disbursed under the Programme. In other words, this is going to be virtually cash transaction through the post offices network throughout the country. The programme was initially announced, as mentioned above, with the federal budget and it is being launched after a delay of a little more than three months. According to the concerned officials, the delay was more or less intentional as the modalities were to be finalised and throughout its implementation, transparency, fair play and checks and balance system put in place for realising the good objectives. This positive thinking in the right direction is quite appreciable as well as comprehensible in the prevailing circumstances. Since the programme is to be implemented in a way through the parliamentarians who are required to distribute the prescribed forms among the needy people in their respective constituencies, and information provided therein by the applicants is to be verified by the councillors, the elected representatives availability for this purpose should be ensured to the maximum extent possible. Timely completion of whole procedure by all official concerned will help in providing relief to the needy people as early as possible. Time already elapsed cannot be termed as wasted as evolving fool proof system for distribution, monitoring etc was the basic requirements for the success of the Support Programme. In all fairness, the intention seems to be quite good and relief-oriented. It would not be too much to say that its fair and transparent implementation at all levels should be strictly ensured. Those found trying to fail the programme in any manner should be dealt with an iron hand if the objectives are to be fully achieved. At the same time, the federal and provincial governments should intensify their efforts at various levels to check the soaring prices of the essential articles and keep coming down hard on the hoarders, blackmarketer's and smugglers. The control and lowering of the prices of essential commodities would help in improving the low-income people's purchasing power to some extent. And, financial assistance provided under the Benazir Income Supporting Programme would then sort of add attraction for the poor people.No doubt, the financial assistance to be provided appears to be low some what. But then something is surely welcome and as the saying goes: "Something is better than nothing." The writer is a freelance columnist