Government is contemplating to merge Benzair Income Support Programme and Bait-ul- Mal which will be analogous to disturbing news to millions of benefices for whom it makes big difference between food security and starvation, said Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, President Punjab PPP,in a statement issued here today.
He demanded that the government should not go ahead with its plan of merging two statutory bodies because it would badly the poor and may serve the interests of those who have ulterior motives.
He said that both the BISP and Bait-ul- Maal being the statutory bodies could not be merged by an executive order because both were constituted as a result of acts of Parliament. PPP will oppose such move in the Parliament and scuttle the move of the government keeping in view the vital interests of the poor, he asserted.
He recalled that the items of daily use of poor man were much cheaper during PPP led democratic previous government and the assistance under the BISP made their lives relatively comfortable.
He called upon the government to desist from doing politics at the expense of the poorest of the poor who have been benefitting from this programme by ensuring two square meals a day to their families. The discontinuation of this social security programme or exposing the innocent and marginalized people to the burucratic wrangling will cause acute hardships to them whose lives are hanging by the thread, he cautioned.
He demanded that the government instead should increase the amount of cash assistance to the poor families and save them from the jaws of inflation that had been eating unabatedly the value of their meager income.
He pointed out that the BISP programme had earned worldwide acclaims for its reach out to the poor, and the international personality like the UN Secretary General, Ban- Ki Moon even suggested to other developing countries to replicate the programme in the respective countries after observing its efficacy in Pakistan.
He further pointed out that the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank appreciated the programme as a flagship of social security by any criterion. The institutional judgment of such international financial institutions based on the Third Party validation was a great tribute to the BISP, Manzoor Wattoo added.
He said that the BISP was also a giant step towards the empowerment of the women because the cash assistance under the programme was channeled to the deserving families through the elderly women.