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ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Faisal Karim Kundi has said that the federal government started disbursement of payments to the beneficiaries of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday along with Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Media Coordinator Nazir Dhoki, he said the BISP has disbursed Rs55 billion among 7.7 million beneficiaries under Benazir Kafalat till now while Rs13 billion distributed under BISP Waseela-e-Taleem programme.

The SAPM said preparations for the next BISP Dynamic Survey has been completed and soon Co-chairman of PPP Asif Ali Zardari will inaugurate it. Kundi said that the federal government has disbursed Rs70 billion among the flood-hit families.

Kundi said under the survey, maximum eligible people will be provided the BISP cards. He further said we will reanalyse the data of all those people, who were excluded from the BISP by the former government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

While appreciating the efforts of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and his team for achieving global support for flood victims at the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan in Geneva, he said that $10.7 billion pledges were a historic success of the present government.

“This was the result of effective diplomatic efforts of the Foreign Minister, Bilawal Bhutto who in a very short span of time visited various countries and sensitised the international community about the post-flood situation being faced by Pakistan,” he said.

Kundi said that the funds acquired through pledges would be spent on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the flood-affected areas and people across the country.

The way Bilawal fought the case of Pakistan at international forums by visiting different countries and inviting United Nations Secretary General to Pakistan for creating awareness and a sense of sympathy about the flood damages which reflected his diplomatic wisdom, he said.

He said that still water had not receded from many of the flood-affected parts of the country including Sindh, Balochistan, South Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and South Punjab. “The country needs serious efforts and financial help for the complete rehabilitation of infrastructure and agriculture sector of the country,” he added.

He said the previous government had closed the BISP cards of almost 800,000 people without any solid reason and the present government is going to restore the cards of the affected people.

Criticising the PTI “propaganda” against Bilawal’s visits, Kundi said that all the political parties should support the efforts of the foreign minister for this national cause keeping aside the political differences.

He also lambasted the PTI for ruining diplomatic relations with foreign countries and said that the incumbent government was eager to rebuild ties with friendly countries including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, China, the UAE, and others who have extended their support in difficult times.

Talking about the climate change repercussions being faced by Pakistan and other countries, Kundi emphasized engaging national and international community to fight the challenge of climate change which was caused by various reasons including illegal deforestation.

These stipends were being disbursed without any deduction and if a person demands any kind of deduction or fee for payment, the beneficiaries should immediately report to BISP, he said and assured that zero tolerance policy would be adopted in case of any illegal deduction by any means.

Kundi said that the BISP was closely working with National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) to re-include the Benazir Kafalat beneficiaries who were exited without any verification during the PTI tenure. The flood-hit people having less poverty score will also be included in the BISP through resurvey, he said.

Talking about the recent wheat crisis in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kundi criticised PTI chairman for not playing any role in resolving the crisis. He said that Imran Khan was hiding in Zaman Park and not asking chief ministers of his own governed provinces of Punjab and KP to redress the wheat crisis which he termed as “criminal negligence”.

To a question, Kundi said that Chairman PTI Imran Khan should answer the nation where he spent Rs15 billion collected for relief activities of the flood victims.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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