ISLAMABAD - Chairperson, Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Farzana Raja Wednesday strongly dispelled the impression that existing financial crunch would hit BISP at any level and said that the programme had been initiated to provide financial assistance to vulnerable in an impeccably transparent manner. "For the first time in the history of Pakistan, such a huge project has been launched by PPP government considering the problems of have-nots. Around 30 to 35 million people would get direct income support in the first phase. The amount of 1,000 per month could be increased gradually in the following years," Farzana Raja said. She said that the involvement of parliamentarians in the BISP had ensured judicious distribution of the funds across the country. "All areas would receive equal attention through this system. All parties have a fair representation in both the Houses and all parliamentarians have been given equal forms," she added. She said that the parliamentarians had started sending processed forms back and hoped that the disbursement to eligible applicants would be started in a month. "Apart from being the largest direct cash grant scheme in the country's history, a distinguishing feature of the Programme is that it is free from any element of political partisanship," she said, adding that all members of Parliament, irrespective of party affiliation, had been provided equal opportunity to recommend deserving families, based on specified criteria. Raja said that it was a step in the direction of strengthening a representative system since parliamentarians were directly responsible to represent their constituencies and added it would also lead to greater public ownership of the programme by way of increased interaction between the parliamentarians and the public. About the process of BISP, Chairperson said that each parliamentarian had been allocated 8,000 forms which would be distributed by MNAs /Senators in their respective constituencies. She said that it would be compulsory that the Union Councillor as well as the area MNA verify filled forms. "MNAs/Senators will collect completed and signed forms in multiples of 500 and mail them via Post Office to NADRA in pre-addressed envelopes provided by BISP," she said and added that NADRA would transcribe and verify the information in 15 days and the final list would be posted on a website has been created specifically for this purpose. She said that unique feature of the Programme was that payment will be made only to the female head of family and women's empowerment impact is likely to be decisive, particularly in the context of social development. Sharing interesting information with TheNation, Farzana Raja said that due to BISP, women in NWFP and FATA had started getting their CNIC. "It would also increase women's participation in electoral process in the coming years," she held.   "Poor family would be given Rs2,000 after every two months under the scheme to the people of four provinces, including Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Northern Areas. Under the scheme, 1,640,000 families would get the assistance in Punjab followed by 776,000 in Sindh, 520,000 in NWFP, and 312,000 in Balochistan," she said, adding that as many as 160,000 families would get assistance under the scheme belonged to Fata, 48,000 in the federal capital territory and 80,000 minorities across the country. She said that care had been taken to obtain maximum objectivity and transparency in the programme, adding that it had been done by the separation of programme management, recipient selection, verification, and disbursement processes. "The disbursement mechanism has been designed such that there is minimum intermediary involvement or human interaction in the process of transmission of funds from the treasury to the recipient," she added. Answering a question, she said that the forms were protected through security code. "They cannot be duplicated or reproduced and only original submissions would be acceptable. Another important step towards transparency is the availability of the data through website as well as through post offices and this data would be available for viewing for the general public. Anybody can review the data and point to anomalies, if any, to ensure judicious distribution of the funds," she said. Raja said that five Coordination Centres in all four provinces as well in Northern Areas/Pakistan Occupied Kashmir were being established for the programme besides Divisional Directorates and any complaint regarding irregularities by the post offices could be submitted to the Divisional Directorates that will be resolved within 15 days after submission. About eligibility, she said that there was a strict criterion for the funds and only families with monthly income less than Rs 6,000 would be eligible to apply. She said widowed/divorced women, those without adult male members in the family, those with any physically or mentally retarded person(s) in the family and those with any family member suffering from a chronic disease would also be eligible to apply but criterion for the family income to be less than Rs. 6,000 would apply in all those cases. "The family defined under the scheme as wife, husband and children. Parents or married sisters or daughters living in the same house will classify as another family and may qualify separately for payment," she said, adding that only one adult female member from each qualifying family was eligible to apply. She said the government was committed to providing maximum relief to the poorest segments of the society and formulating long-term policies to eradicate poverty from the country. "An amount of Rs 34 billion has been allocated for this programme and every deserving woman will get Rs 1,000 per month," she added.  "It has seen the light of the day on account of active patronage of President Asif Ali Zardari and strong support from Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani", she added. Raja said that the programme would provide maximum relief to the 25 per cent people living below the poverty line for running their households affairs. "Besides providing income support, the members of deserving families would be provided technical training and suitable jobs to support their families by running small businesses", she said. "To provide permanent income support to oppressed segments of society, several new projects would be launched soon," she said, adding that in the next five years government would achieve the target of poverty alleviation to a large extent.  Replying to a question, she said, an internal monitoring mechanism was also being put in place to verify actual delivery of exact amount to the designated families.