Tuesday October 04, 2022

BISP programme: Senate body concerned over exclusion of 850,000 beneficiaries

By Our Correspondent
January 29, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas Tuesday evinced interest in the Ehsaas Programme but expressed concern over the recent exclusion of 850,000 beneficiaries from BISP and called for action against BISP fake callers and message senders.

The committee met here at the Parliament House and discussed in detail the BISP programme and other welfare initiatives being launched by the Ministry. Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to PM and Chairperson BISP, gave the committee a complete overview of the programme.

Chaired by Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, the meeting was attended by Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Haji Momin Khan Afridi, Senator Rahila Magsi, Senator Kalsoom Parveen, Senator Gianchand, Senator Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, Senator Maulvi Faiz Muhammad, Senator Anwar Lal Dean and senior officers from the Ministry of Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, BISP along with all concerned.

The committee was informed that Ehsaas was the umbrella under which numerous welfare programmes such as the National Socio Economic Registry, Unconditional Cash Transfer, Conditional Cash Transfer, Nutrition Initiative, BISP Graduation Programme fell under.

It was told that the Ehsaas programme was the future of social protection in Pakistan. Launched on 27th March, 2019 with focus on four areas and 155 policy actions to reduce inequality, invest in people and uplift lagging districts. Ehsaas has 134 elements and involves 34 federal agencies to implement this multi-sectoral multi-stakeholder initiative.

The committee showed interest regarding various programmes came under Ehsaas and its aim to create human capital development, jobs and livelihoods. However, keeping in view the BISP programme it showed concern regarding recent exclusion of 850000 beneficiaries from the programme.

The committee was informed that the decision was taken as a result of beneficiary profiling 820165 beneficiaries who were screened out as failing in the ascertained criteria. It was revealed that 820165 beneficiaries included 2548 government employees (BS-17 to 21).

The committee was informed that a national survey will be conducted soon and poverty scorecard methodology would be applied for the identification of the poor. Discovering vacant positions at BISP offices across the country the Committee stressed the need to fill-up 2067 vacant positions at the earliest.

Preference, it was asserted, must be given to individuals belonging to less developed areas. The committee directed that recruitment rules must be submitted in the next meeting. Details of deputations were also called for by the Committee.

The committee recommended that the BISP programme must head towards self-sustainability of beneficiaries and help them start up small businesses. Directions were given for BISP to focus on less developed areas and instead of allocating funds pro rata; must increase support for less developed areas. Considering scholarships, preference must be given to students of less developed areas. The committee called for taking up the issue of fake BISP calls and referring these and those involved to the FIA for investigation and criminal proceedings.