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ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Standing Committee on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety was on Friday informed that socio-economic data of 34.4 million households was collected through National Socio Economic Registry Survey to determine their poverty eligibility and the data is in the process of verification by the NADRA.

The meeting of the committee presided over by Chairperson Saira Bano was given a briefing on the methodology being adopted by the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation for survey on the basis of which the deserving families would be provided cash assistance. The officials of the Benazir Income Support Programme informed the committee that the entire country was divided into clusters and multiple models were adopted to conduct the survey.

However, the committee members raised serious question over transparency of the BISP survey and wanted to know the details of companies, which have been hired for this purposes because there are complaints from the people of their constituencies that no one visited their area for the survey.

Upon this, the Standing Committee decided to hold the next meeting on 8th February 2022 to examine the survey process of different Ehsaas Programmes.

Dr Sania Nishtar said that the poverty eligibility was determined after conducing door-to-door survey.

While responding to the questions of the committee members, she said that the government has neither changed nor removed name of the Benazir Income Support Programme and the BISP is part of the Ehsaas programme. She said that the government responsibility was to serve the poor and the deserving people and provide them support.

The meeting was also informed that a continuous process of DG Federal Investigation Agency and banks selected for disbursement are working to detect cases of fake thumb impressions and then register FIRs. This is a continuous process of registering cases of fake thumb impressions, the official added.

The committee rejected three proposed bills about BISP and Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM). The Standing Committee examined four proposed bills – Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal(Amendment) Act, 2021 (Government Bill)”, Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (Amendment) Act, private bill Benazir Income Support Programme (Amendment) Act, 2021 Private Bill to amend section 4 of XVIII of 2010)” and “Benazir Income Support Programme (Amendment) Act, 2021 (Private Bill to insert section 12-A of Act XVIII of 2010).

The Standing Committee deferred the government bill to examine it thoroughly in the next meeting and rejected the other three bills. The meeting was attended by Members National Assembly; Fakhar Zaman Khan, Malik Sohail Khan, Sadaqat Ali Abbasi, Chaudhary Muhammad Hamid Hameed, Sardar Talib Khan Nakai, Syed Abrar Ali Shah, Zulfiqar Ali Behan, Syed Mahmood Shah, Shagufta Jumani, Lal Chand, and others.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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