The federal government has taken down more than 800,000 registered members under Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), declaring them ‘undeserving’ stated, Dr. Sania Nishtar, the Special Advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Project.
The beneficiaries were excluded following the revision of the BISP database following the decision taken in the cabinet meeting informed the Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, in the post-cabinet meeting press conference.
It was asserted that the review of the beneficiaries was taken after cabinet members had expressed reservations on the BISP. The cabinet members argued that the members of the opposition party Pakistan People’s Party were benefitting from the program while the PTI members were being ignored.
Dr. Sania Nishtar asserted that a detailed audit of the beneficiaries was carried out with the help of the National Database and Registration Authority.
She added that the beneficiaries were assessed based on certain aspects. Factors such as if the family of the beneficiary had any motorcycle or car, or people having more than 12 acres of land were undeserving of social assistance.
Only deserving people would be included in the list, following the exclusion of 820,165 people from the list.
Dr. Nishtar also shared data of the forensic analysis on her Twitter account and thanked the cabinet for supporting her decision to exclude the undeserving beneficiaries from the list and enhance the transparency of the social welfare project.
Dr. Nishtar addressed a press conference in the Islamabad on Thursday, 26th December. She said that new deserving people will be included in the list and the ambit of the forensic analysis was restricted to the spouse and children of the beneficiaries which were not included in the assessment.
I wish to thank the Cabinet for approving my proposal: exiting 820,165 @bisp_pakistan beneficiaries. Using forensic data analysis, we found they were ineligible for support based on the crtieria below. This translates into saving of PKR 16 billion for the government annually. pic.twitter.com/diwEzQ1IGq
— Sania Nishtar (@SaniaNishtar) December 24, 2019
She elaborated that a few indicators were applied to determine the ‘poorest of the poor’ category. These beneficiaries were paid paid Rs. 5000 deliveries since 2011. She said that the analysis is still underway and further progress will be made to refurbish the list of members of BISP.
The exclusion of these undeserving people will save the federal government Rs.16 billion which can be spent on the more deserving people, according to Dr. Nishtar.
She said that the government has set a new criteria for the qualification of BISP, highlighting that government employees will not be entertained for the social welfare scheme.