The present government has set a target to expand the outreach of Benazir Kafaalat Program up to eight million families till the month of June and then 10 million afterwards in order to reduce the impact of rising inflation on the poor families.
Talking to media , Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, Shazia Marri said that the scope of Benazir Kafaalat program would be expanded soon, “Unfortunately the increased ratio of poverty, inflation and unemployment in the country has led to economic instability during last few years which require expansion of BISP to provide financial relief to the poor masses”.
“The Program, serving seven million families now, will expand with its outreach up to eight million families till the month of June however, we want to increase its coverage up to the 10 million families in future as per the poverty ratio and the economic indicators,” she said.
To a question on re-inclusion of the expelled BISP beneficiaries, the federal minister said it is very unfortunate that around 8, 20,000 beneficiaries were expelled from the BISP program in the year 2019 without any verification or investigation through giving an impression that they were ineligible and affluent.
She said that many questions were raised at that time when these beneficiaries were expelled on the basis of unjustified filters but those responsible during the previous government didn’t respond. “I have decided after receiving briefing from the officials that those disqualified on the basis of unjustified filters including phone bill of up to Rs. 1000, making of urgent Passport and urgent CNIC, foreign travel etc. will be given a right to appeal”, she said.
It needed to understand that how a person can be declared ineligible if he has traveling abroad for performing Umrah through some lucky draw and made CNIC in urgency to apply for BISP.
All such filters are not satisfactory and cannot determine the financial condition of the person. This decision of expelling BISP beneficiaries was taken without verification, investigation or giving them right to register complaint which is injustice”, she said.
“We have inserted an appeal mechanism in the program and opened the 8171 SMS service to address the grievances of the disqualified beneficiaries, she told.
Shazia Marri said that the BISP is associated with the name of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto as it was her vision to support poor families through introducing a social protection intervention in the country. She said that the foundation of BISP, which was launched in the year 2008 and legalized in 2010, was strong enough that no one could change it.
The BISP has collected the data of 34 million households while presently; more than seven million families are covered under this program, she expressed.