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ISLAMABAD: Shazia Marri has said that it is “not right to exclude deserving persons from the programme on the basis of foreign visits for attending religious rituals alone.”

She shared these views while presiding over a review meeting of BISP in her capacity as the new Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Security.

In the meeting, the minister reviewed eligibility and exclusion criteria for deserving persons in the programme, according to an official press release issued Friday.

The press release quoted her as saying that it is “unfair to remove deserving people from the programme on the basis of unnecessary filters.”

She also said that the exclusion of “people from BISP on the basis of mobile spending is unfair.”

According to the minister, if people “have to be expelled from the programme, then first empower them.”

In addition, the minister announced that the name of “Bibi Shaheed would be used with all the programmes as major programmes are being run under the supervision of BISP.”

It merits mentioning here that PASSD, under the leadership of former special assistant to the prime minister on social protection and poverty alleviation Senator Dr Sania Nishtar, took some remarkable initiatives to remove undeserving beneficiaries from BISP. The excluded people were those whose socioeconomic conditions were recorded on an upward trajectory the list also included several government officials including the gazetted officers and a host of other undeserving beneficiaries.

In February last year, BISP announced to have removed some 29,961 individuals from its list of beneficiaries who were provided financial assistance, bringing the total number of individuals removed from BISP beneficiaries list to 850,126, from December 2019 till February 2021.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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