Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Security Shazia Marri on Friday said that the beneficiaries of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), who were disqualified during the previous government’s tenure, would be reviewed for inclusion.
“The names of those BISP beneficiaries who were declared ineligible to receive cash assistance on the basis of unjustified socioeconomic data filters during the previous government’s tenure, would be reviewed and efforts will be made to include them,” Marri said while addressing a press conference along with Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi.
She said that the beneficiaries were excluded from the BISP lists on the basis of the data filters for the reasons of making urgent Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) or passport and foreign visit for performing religious obligation, etc. which was a matter of great concern.
The minister said that a mechanism for appeal would be developed for the disqualified beneficiaries so that their cases could be reviewed for inclusion in the programme.
Criticising the previous government for changing the name of BISP, the minister said that programme was launched in the year 2008 as per the vision of late PPP leader Benazir Bhutto to provide relief to those living below poverty line and legalised in the year 2010.
“The name of BISP cannot be changed legally. It was BISP yesterday, is BISP today and will remain BISP in the future as well. From now, the Kafalat Pogramme will be the Benazir Kafalat Programme, the Nashonuma will be Benazir Nashonuma Programme and the Education Stipend will be Benazir Education Stipend Programme,” she added.
Marri said that she will visit 16 zonal offices of the BISP across the country to get first hand information about the issues being faced by the beneficiaries as well as those who intended to get them registered for the programme.
“The BISP’s coverage will also be expanded after getting the people’s inputs,” she added.
Marri said that the new government had been formed through a constitutional way. It proved that democracy was the best revenge. “Such a government, which lacked a vision and had no realisation about the problems of masses, has no right to rule them.”
She said that the present government would prioritise provision of maximum economic relief to the masses who had suffered a lot during the previous tenure.
Criticising former prime minister Imran Khan, the minister said that he should have highlighted the performance of his government of around four years in his public meetings instead of creating anarchy through misleading the masses.
Read More: Ehsaas and BISP: what is the difference?
She also mentioned the “troubling” account of the country’s economic situation presented during the federal cabinet meeting.
Responding to a question, the minister dispelled the impression of closure of any of the Ehsaas programmes and said, “Three programmes of the BISP, including Waseela-i-Rozgar, were closed by the previous government, which would be revived soon.”
To another question about responding to the public issues through social media, Marri said, “We are the representatives of masses and will go directly to them to ask about their issues regarding the service delivery of this programme along with using the medium of social media.”
Kundi told the media said that the coalition partners would work together to save the country from crisis, adding that they had signed the Charter of Democracy in the past, and they were going to sign the Charter of Democracy 2 now.
He said that their agenda was to go for free and transparent elections after electoral reforms.
Kundi said that Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Moonis Elahi and Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed used foul language in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) public meeting in Lahore on Thursday.
He said that former prime minister Imran is now pinning the blame on establishment. He also pointed out that the former premier had pinned the responsibility for the chief election commissioner’s (CEC) appointment on the establishment.
The PPP leader revealed during the presser that party chief Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who is currently on a visit to the United Kingdom, was invited for iftar by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif.
It is worth mentioning here that Bilawal and Nawaz held a meeting at the latter’s London residence, wherein both parties vowed to repair the “damaged” economy of Pakistan.