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ISLAMABAD: Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has been budgeted at Rs598.71 billion in financial year 2024-25, an increase of 27 percent in the programme’s annual budget in comparison to Rs 471.23 billion it has received in the outgoing financial year.

This increase in the budget is more than BISP’s estimate which was not expecting an increase of more than 20 percent in its budget, Business Recorder has learnt.

The reports received from informed officials indicate that BISP was projecting Rs 550 billion in the budget, an increase of 17 percent compared to its budget in the outgoing FY 2023-24.

Rs313.4bn disbursed among 9.4m BISP beneficiaries

The outgoing fiscal year’s budget initially showed an increase of only 10 percent compared to previous financial year—from Rs 408 billion to Rs 450 billion. Later, this figure was revised upward to Rs 471 billion showing a 15 percent increase.

But, like in the outgoing FY2023-24, the budgetary BISP data for upcoming FY 2024-25 has serious discrepancies.

According to budget documents issued by the federal government, Wednesday, BISP’s budget in the outgoing fiscal year is Rs 471.23 billion. Just a day earlier, the Economic Survey for outgoing financial year issued by the federal government showed BISP’s budget at Rs 466 billion.

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) country report on Pakistan from the last month mentioned BISP’s budget for FY2023-24 at Rs 472 billion.

In addition, federal government has repeatedly claimed that 9.3 million female beneficiaries receive financial aid under BISP’s flagship Kafaalat initiative.

However, the data received by Business Recorder from informed sources in BISP showed that 9.27 million beneficiaries were receiving quarterly stipend of Rs 10,500 each under Kafaalat programme. But, the federal government’s Economic Survey claimed that 9.4 million beneficiaries were receiving this stipend.

In April, last year, the then BISP Chairperson 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 FY 2021-22 to Rs 400 billion in the FY 2022-23. This claim was contradicted by other the relevant government documents that showed BISPs budget at Rs 250 billion in FY 2021-22, and not Rs 235 billion.

Budget documents further suggest that BISP’s budget in 2022-23 was Rs 408 billion and not Rs 400 billion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Ghullam mustafa Jun 13, 2024 05:43am
Bisp kifalat program registration online
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Ch K A Nye Jun 13, 2024 09:51am
An inherently corrupt programme aptly named. We certainly need much stricter monitoring and evaluation to do away with beneficiaries who don't deserve it.
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KU Jun 13, 2024 11:49am
How much of this money will actually go to the poor, probably 50% only. Media never makes an effort to follow-up on NADRA n other govt officials who were caught in heist/stealing BISP fund for poor.
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