PESHAWAR - The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government Saturday conducted voting on trial basis under the biometric system apparently an effort to hold free and fair upcoming local government elections in the province. However, a few technical problems in the exercise were reported.

According to the KPK Election Commission, trial polling was held at village council Badhai, ward Wadpagga and Sir Buland Pura in the provincial metropolis. The exercise was meant for checking the success of the biometric system in holding error-free, transparent polling and thwarting bogus voting in the impending local bodies elections in the province.

The thumb impression and national identity card of voters were verified through biometric machine. However, there were some problems in recognising thumb impressions, as the biometric system was unable to verify thumbs having removed ridges, as well as that of female thumbs impression having Hena (mehindi). The Election Commission of Pakistan would now decide whether to or not approve the biometric systems for the coming local bodies elections. The ECP would take up these technical problems in its coming meeting.

The trial polling was arranged by the KPK Local government Department in collaboration with provincial election Commission. The Acting Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan Justice Nasirul Mulk and KPK Election commissioner Sonu Khan Baloch, KPK and Baluchistan provinces members in the ECP, KPK secretary local government were also present during the trial of biometric system.

It is also learnt that NADRA officials were also monitoring the biometric system along with the election commission officials. The KPK Election Commissioner Sonu Khan Baloch on this occasion said introduction of biometric system is an important step to ensure transparency in the polling process. He was talking to the media after visiting polling stations during the mock polling held in four Union Councils of district Peshawar under the newly installed biometric system.

Sonu Khan Baloch said that introduction of biometric system during the polling process was on experimental basis and we faced few technical problems in its implementation.

BISP TO START VOCATIONAL

TRAINING PROGRAMME

In order to provide trained labour workforce to industrial sector, Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) will start a vocational training programme from February next in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The BISP in collaboration with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI) would launch the training programme under “Waseela-e-Rozgar”. The training would be given for six months and later the beneficiaries would be inducted in industries and other departments in the province.

Chairman BISP Enver Baig while speaking at MoU signing ceremony regarding the vocational development programme at the KPCCI on Saturday. DG Jehangir Alam Chohan and Muhammad Shafi and Senior Vice President KPCCI signed the MoU in the presence of Enver Baig and KPCCI President Zahid Ullah Shinwari.

Under the programme, trained labour workforce would be provided to the industry and minimize the shortage of skilled labour in different emerging trades and encouragement of females. The BISP is imparting vocational training to its selected beneficiaries in various trades under its vocational training program namely “Waseela-e-Rozgar” through public and private sector training institutes.

BISP Chairman Enver Baig said that BISP has been initially launching “Waseel-e-Rozgar” in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under which training will be given to unskilled people in various professions. He said that the program would be continued and expanded in collaboration with other chambers across the country.

He also stated that under the directives issued by the Prime Minister, monthly stipend was raised from Rs.1000 to Rs.1200. He stressed that the role of KPCCI and others chambers is vital for making successful this program.

 About the Benazir Income Support Programme, he said the government had allocated Rs75 billion for BISP. Of the total allocations, he said Rs.8billion have been mobilizing from donor funds. When asked about total beneficiary of BISP, he said around 7.2million people have been directly beneficiary of the programme while in the total beneficiaries of BISP, is around 11million in KPK.

On this occasion, KPCCI president Zahidullah Shinwari highlighted the significant of joint venture of BISP and KPCCI, saying that the project will help reduce unemployment and develop skilled labour in the province.