BISP assistance meant for poor

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The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) is a federal unconditional cash transfer poverty reduction program in Pakistan. It is the largest single social safety net program in the country. The program was launched in July 2008 for poverty alleviation in the country; however unfortunately it hardly served the purpose due to its non-implementation in its true spirit.
Since, Dr Sania Nishtar took the charge as the Chairperson of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) it raises hopes that the deserving and needy people would get benefit out of the program. She worked rigorously on the program to make it a pro-poor program and identified 820,165 “undeserving” beneficiaries of the BISP, who were excluded from the program by the federal cabinet on her proposal. In a post on Twitter, Dr Nishtar said 2,543 government officers of grade-17 and above had got themselves registered among the beneficiaries from the social safety net and recei­ved the assistance meant for the poorest of the poor. They have been excluded from the programme.
She said that disciplinary action would be taken against government officers of grade 17 and above who had received BISP assistance meant for the poor.
It is reported that Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal ordered inquiry into reports of involvement of a large number of provincial officers receiving money from BISP in the name of spouses, which is commendable. According to reports, 741 officers of grade 17 to 21 were involved in the scam. The federal government and other provincial governments should follow suit and strict disciplinary actions should be taken the officials receiving money from the program so as no one could commit such crime ever again. The government should develop a mechanism to ensure stoppage of registering undeserved people, besides ensuring meritocracy and transparency in the program so as only the deserving and needy could get the money.

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