Islamabad  - A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between BISP, Aik Hunar Aik Nagar (AHAN) and TCS at BISP Secretariat for promotion of handicraft skills of BISP benficiaries and provision of better access to their products in the natioanl and international markets.

According to the MoU, TCS has offered a seperate page for products of BISP beneficiaries on its website. TCS will upload all BISP beneficiaries’ products on that page and make it public so the clients could place an order at the same page.

The order would be visible to both TCS and BISP. TCS will collect the product from AHAN Regional Office and deliver it to the client who would make payment alongwith the delivery charges. TCS will keep the delivery charges with itself and deposit the product price into BISP beneficiary account and it would also be shared with BISP.

The invoice would be submitted to BISP on weekly basis. The role of BISP would be to handle the grievances in this process. Moreover, BISP would communicate to AHAN to get any product prepared by BISP beneficiaries in case of more or multiple orders. Todate, TCS has uploaded BISP beneficiaries’ products of worth Rs. 616,750 on its page and the products of worth Rs. 11, 530, 000 are in pipeline to be uploaded.

Federal Minister for Industries & Production, Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, Chairperson BISP Marvi Memon, Chairperson AHAN Shireen Arshad Khan, Secretary BISP Muhammad Saleem Ahmed Ranjha, CEO AHAN Mr. Naveed Sheikh, Regional Director TCS Mr. Farrukh Nadeem, Joint Secretary Ministry of Commerce Fareena Mazhar and several parliamentarians, diplomats, representatives of NGOs, civil society, government and international organizations were present on the occasion of  E-Commerce MoU signing ceremony.

AHAN is a not-for-profit organization working under administrative control of Ministry of Industries & Production, Government of Pakistan. AHAN’s head office is based in Lahore with regional offices present in all four provincial headquarters; Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta. AHAN focuses on generating non-traditional employment opportunities in rural areas by adopting and indigenizing the One Village One Product (OVOP) concept of Japan and One Tambon One Product (OTOP) of Thailand. The objective is to alleviate poverty in rural and semi-urban areas of Pakistan by supporting rural based micro and small enterprises engaged in the production of non-farm goods.

On the occasion, Minister for Industries & Production appreciated the initiative taken by BISP. He said that the initiation of cooperation among the organizations is a very important step and it will give international recognition to the traditional products of the country. Market access to the products of marginalized segments will contribute in their welfare and the effects of such measures will also give boost to the economy of Pakistan.

Chairperson BISP, during the ceremony, said that this initiative is a founding stone of economic empowerment for BISP beneficiaries as it will introduce them to the national and international markets. The mandate of BISP is to provide financial assistance to 5.2 million beneficiaries to meet their basic needs, however, such initiatives will help them to improve their economic condition and will also assist the country in accomplishing the SDGs. She added that BISP is committed to give dignity, empowerment and meaning of life to its beneficiaries through financial inclusion as envisioned by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

After exchange of data between BISP and AHAN, beneficiaries across the country are identified for enrolling them with AHAN for polishing their skills and connecting them to the markets. The products prepared by BISP beneficiaries include regional textile, ceramics, wood, leather, marble mosaic and mazri products and are physically available at all AHAN’s regional offices.

On the occasion, stalls of various products prepared by BISP beneficiaries were also set up so that their skills and expertise are shown to the participants and the general public through media.

For the purpose of creating awareness among BISP beneficiaries, regional offices of BISP in Balochistan, KP, Punjab, Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan, AJK and FATA arranged to show the live coverage of the proceedings of the ceremony to the beneficiaries.