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ISLAMABAD: Contrary to expectations, only 450 billion rupees have been allocated for Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in 2023-24, showing an increase of slightly more than 10 percent in comparison to the revised figure of Rs 408 billion in the outgoing FY 2022-23.

Earlier, reports were rife that government was set to allocate not less than Rs 500 billion to more than 10 million deserving beneficiaries and their families who are in dire need of financial assistance in the wake of runaway inflation.

In the outgoing fiscal year BISP’s budget has been marked with apparent lack of transparency. Last June, the federal government announced that Rs 364 billion were allocated for BISP for the current financial year. Later, this budget was stated to be of Rs 360 billion.

BISP budget increased 70.12pc to Rs400bn

Following flash floods triggered by torrential downpour that wreaked havoc in several parts of the country, the federal government announced it had allocated an additional Rs 40 billion for the assistance of flood-hit masses. Later, however, the BISP management claimed that these Rs40 billion were part of BISP’s budget—which, it said, was raised from Rs 360 billion to Rs 400 billion to provide financial support to up to 10 million Kifaalat beneficiaries.

In April this year, Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Minister Shazia Marri first claimed that government increased BISP’s budget by 60 percent—from Rs 250 billion in FY 2021-22 to Rs 400billion in FY 2022-23 but then “revised” this claim saying the government increased BISP budget by 70 percent from Rs 235 billion in previous financial year to Rs 400 billion in the current financial year. In contradiction to this claim, all the relevant government documents showed that Rs 250 billion was BISP’s budget in the last financial year, not Rs 235 billion.

Budget documents suggest that BISP’s budget in the outgoing financial year is Rs 408 billion and not Rs 400 billion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Tulukan Mairandi Jun 10, 2023 08:55am
Our beloved benazir (peace be upon her) continues to shower us with love even years after her martyrdom. The least we can do is to keep her son and husband as our masters.
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