President Dr Arif Alvi has emphasised on maximum utilisation of technology for sustainable development in the country.
Addressing the pensioners’ biometric verification service launching ceremony on Friday, the president said that development is linked with adoption of technological means.
The president said automation makes a process easy and transparent. He said the government’s initiatives about electronic voting machines and i-voting are aimed at achieving the same objectives. He said that use of technology has increased in day to day activities, and those who resist will lag behind.
Similarly, he said, digital banking gives empowerment to consumers for transparent and prompt financial transactions with lesser human interaction. He urged the financial institutions to strengthen safeguards against monetary frauds by continuously educating the general public about scams.
The president said that Rs60 billion are dispensed among 1.4 million people in pension, and any system for verification of the pensioners will be a welcome development. He expressed satisfaction that the initiative would not only improve the system of personal verification of pensioners, but also ensure a check on fake identities.
The new biometric system will replace the existing requirement of the yearly submission of life certificate. Earlier, the pensioners were required to submit a life certificate duly stamped by a gazetted officer besides their physical presence as proof of life, which made it extremely inconvenient for the elderly.
The president said the system would not only extend convenience to pensioners, but also help them streamline in a transparent database and eliminate the ghost pensioners. He termed biometric verification a significant step, both in facilitating the pensioners and also ensuring transparency in the disbursement of pension.
He proposed work on retinal and facial recognition systems to accommodate around 7-12 percent population, who remained unable to be verified on losing their fingerprints for reasons such as aging, disability, excessive labour or illness. He also emphasized an effective audit system for transparent dispensation of pensions by using tools of online data and artificial intelligence.
Dr Alvi lauded the Auditor General of Pakistan and the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) for initiating the biometric verification service for the convenience of pensioners.
He also witnessed on the occasion actual biometric verification of two pensioners of AGPR, who placed their fingerprints at the bank’s biometric device to perform an online verification. Chairman Nadra Tariq Malik was also present.
Separately, talking to a student delegation of Balochistan Residential College Loralai in Islamabad on Friday, President Alvi urged the youth to focus on their studies and play their part for the development of the country.
The president said the youth should equip themselves with the education of information technology. Alvi said the government is paying special attention to the development of Balochistan. He said the youth of the province should benefit from the Kamyab Jawan Programme.
Development linked with adoption of technological means: Alvi