Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has reportedly ordered to publicly reveal the names of 2,543 senior government officers who had added either their own names, or those of their spouses, to the list of beneficiaries of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).
In a tweet, Sania Nishtar, who serves as the BISP head as well as the special assistant to the prime minister (SAPM) on social protection and poverty alleviation, had last week said that 2,543 government officers of Grade-17 and above had availed the BISP and had now been “exited” from the programme.
According to official data, which was also posted on Twitter by Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry, the highest number of government officials availing the BISP was from Sindh. Per the detailed breakdown, 1,122 officers of Grade-17 and above from the province had been BISP beneficiaries.
The second highest number came from Balochistan, where 741 government officials were signed up for the poverty alleviation scheme. From Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 403 government officials availed the BISP, while 137 did so from Punjab.
From the federal government, 62 officers availed the programme. Additionally, 1 officer of the Pakistan Railways, 22 of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and 49 of Gilgit Baltistan were also marked as undeserving recipients of the BISP. From within the BISP itself, six officers were listed among the beneficiaries.
With the federal cabinet taking up the matter on Tuesday, PM Imran ordered to publicly reveal the names of the officers benefiting from the programme. “No leniency should be there for those who deprive the poor of their rights,” the premier reportedly said.
“It is very regretful for us and damaging for the image of the country that officers of grade-17 to grade-20 officers were receiving funds meant for the poor deserving people,” SAPM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan had said earlier in the day as she announced that a report on the matter would be presented to the premier in the federal cabinet meeting.
She had also said that a strict action would be taken against those involved.