ABBOTTABAD: The Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) is likely to start the disbursement of outstanding payment of millions to over 52 service providers of Waseela-e-Rozgar Scheme across the country after three years as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has completed its probe, sources told The Express Tribune.
The previous PPP-led government had launched the scheme as a subsidiary project of BISP during September 2011 to provide vocational training to 70,000 beneficiaries through 52 private service providers including eight from Hazara and over 20 in K-P. According to BISP’s record, these service providers trained at least 57,817 beneficiaries in the three years from 2011-2013.
However, with the PML-N at the helm of affairs from 2013, components of the Waseela-e-Rozgar scheme were detached from BISP and the service providers were not paid their outstanding dues.
It was reported that following a complaint, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was tasked to probe and identify if any embezzlement took place.
Sources said the overall estimated financial liability against the scheme was Rs808 million on account of training costs, exam fees, and provision of toolkits to beneficiaries.
According to Kosar Naqvi, chief executive of IDEAL – a local NGO that was also among the 52 service providers owed money – the scheme included Rs477 million for service providers, Rs236 million on account of stipends to beneficiaries, and Rs95 million for exam fees and provision of toolkits for the trainees.
Sharing a letter from NAB dated September 2, 2016, Naqvi said NAB clearly mentioned that there was no investigation pending against Wasela-e-Rozgar scheme of BISP. He said NAB clarified this while responding to a query from another affected service provider, namely Ektaara International Charitable Education Foundation, Karachi.
BISP Director Asif Munir, who was looking after the Waseela-e-Rozgar scheme, also confirmed that the process for the clearance of outstanding Wasela-e-Rozgar scheme liabilities has been initiated. He also confirmed that the clearance letter from NAB was authentic.
Naqvi said the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights also discussed this issue as a special item during its meeting a few days back.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2017.
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