Poverty survey is 90% complete: Raja

Government trying to increase international contributions to BISP.

Maha Mussadaq July 04, 2011


The government’s survey of poverty in the country is approximately 90% complete, said Benazir Income Support Programme Chairperson Farzana Raja on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Raja said that the survey was complete in all provinces except Gilgit-Baltistan, where data entry for the survey would begin from July 20.

According to the government’s poverty database, a total of 3.7 million families have been identified as living in absolute poverty and thus eligible to receive the benefits of the BISP. Of those, 1.8 million families are from Sindh, 1.2 million families from Punjab, 0.8 million in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 350,000 in Balochistan, 70,000 in Azad Jammu Kashmir and about 40,000 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

The programme has been allocated Rs65 billion in the federal budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, said Raja. In previous years, the government had been unable to disburse the full benefits to all of the recipient families. Raja claimed that the government would ensure that all of the money was spent on recipient families for this year.

The BISP, which offers a Rs1,000 monthly income supplement by the government to the poorest families in the country, has been criticised for being biased towards supporters of the ruling PPP. Raja tried to address some of those concerns.

She claimed that of the Rs72 billion that had been disbursed thus far, only Rs25 billion had been given out at the recommendation of PPP legislators. The remaining Rs47 billion had been disbursed based on the recommendations of legislators from other parties, including Rs15 billion for families recommended by the leading opposition party, the PML-N.

“All the financial assistance disbursed among the beneficiary families in the first phase of the programme have been made on the recommendations of all the parliamentarians,” said Raja. Raja said that various international donor agencies are willing to extend their support to BISP. “We are talking at every level to increase the [global] contribution towards Pakistan,” said Raja.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2011.


hassan | 10 years ago | Reply yes, lets make Pakistan a nation of beggars. instead of failed programs like bb income support and du rupay ki roti how about we start amending fiscal policies start collecting tax from the members of parliament and our morally deprived business class ... or better lets build an infrastructure that actually helps the people stand up on their own.
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