Govt strikes over 800,000 names off BISP database.

 
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ISLAMABAD -- The federal government on Tuesday gave approval to the remoAval of 820,165 names from the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) database, describing the beneficiaries as 'undeserving'.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting after SpeAcial Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Welfare and Poverty AlleviAation Dr Sania Nishtar informed it that the database of the BISP was being revised to exclude 'undeserving' persons, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said while addressing a post-cabinet meeting press conference.

The changes in the BISP database were made in the wake of reservations expreAssed by some cabinet members in the previous meetings that the supporters of opposition parties, especially those bacAking the PakAisAtan PeoAples Party (PPP), were benefiting from the programme while those belonging to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf were being ignored.

Launched in July 2008, the BISP is the country's largest single social safety net programme with around 5.4 million beneficiaries, according to the 2016 data.

Dr Nishtar apprised the cabinet that in view of some complaints and need to update the BISP data, the survey was being reviewed with the help of the National Database and Registration Authority.

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She said during the review, some aspects were being looked into. For example, she added, it was being ascertained whether the family of a beneficiary had any motorcycle or car or whether a spouse was a government employee. The cabinet was further told that those who had over 12 acres of land also did not fall in the category of 'deserving' people. After the exclusion of 820,165 people, really deserving people would be included in the programme, she added.

'If we look into these aspects, then it comes to the fore that 820,165 people should not come in the purview of BISP,' Dr Awan said.

The cabinet in its Tuesday meeting also decided to bar Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz from travelling abroad by rejecting her request on the recommendation of cabinet's subcommittee that deals with the Exit Control List (ECL).

Talking to the media, Dr Awan said: 'Today recommendations of the subcommittee were placed before the cabinet suggesting that the VIP lady [Maryam Nawaz], who had laundered politically made assets abroad, not to leave the country.'

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