Special assistant to prime minister on social protection and poverty alleviation, Sania Nishtar, defends governments’ decision to remove
approximately 800,000 names from the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) database.
In a news conference in Islamabad on Thursday, she said, “Beneficiaries for the BISP were identified through a survey conducted 10 years ago. People’s [financial] situation can change during 10 years. It is also possible that the beneficiaries initially identified by the survey were never truly deserving [of the stipend]”
Nishtar said the government had created a certain criteria for the beneficiaries and had also taken the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) on board.
Adding on she said that government employees will not be included among the beneficiaries. “Government employees, regardless of their grade, are paid accordingly. Which means that they will never be included among the country’s poorest.”
Explaining the new criteria, the Sania Nishtar said women as well as their husbands who have travelled abroad once or on multiple occasions, own a car, have a PTCL phone bill of more than Rs1,000 over a six-month period or a mobile phone expense of more than Rs1,000 in the same time frame will not be included in the list of beneficiaries.
She added that citizens living in 216 villages along the Line of Control (LoC) will also be included in the programme.