ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain on Thursday said the progress and development of a country lies in the welfare of its people and this continuous process inevitably requires participation of each and every individual. Addressing at the launch of National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER) of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), the president said the programme would help BISP and other relevant organisations of the government to reach out to the destitute and marginalised segments of society more easily and transparently. Mamnoon Hussain said the growing workforce of Pakistan, which was the sixth largest country in terms of population with 60 percent of youth, was a big asset. He said different avenues of development and progress were open for a country with such a youth bulge, however he regretted that Pakistan stood second to certain countries in the African continent in terms of educational backwardness. President Hussain said education with specific focus on professional training for youth should be given top priority and required immediate and effective attention. He said NSER by BISP was a step in this direction for collection of accurate data on poverty and lauded the BISP administration for constantly striving under its dynamic leadership to meet the challenges and improve the effectiveness of this programme. He said the data would help alleviate poverty by facilitating the establishment of an endowment fund, attracting the attention of corporate sector and promoting e-commerce. The president said the step would not only help public sector organisations to carry out the development process forward, but would also facilitate civil society, national and international development partners to improve their performance. He said women beneficiaries who graduated from this programme could play a vital role in this respect and commended the establishment of the committees comprising these women. He said it would lead the people living below poverty line towards self-reliance and play their due role in national development process. The president expressed hope that this would result in rapid empowerment and greater employment of women which was an effective and quick way to alleviate poverty. BISP Chairperson Marvi Memon also highlighted the salient features of the programme. Published in Daily Times, March 9th 2018.