MINGORA: Women beneficiaries of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) here on Tuesday complained about the slow payment mechanism and demanded of the government to not only change it, but also increase the number of disbursement outlets.

They said that they faced multiple problems while receiving cash from the disbursement agents in Mingora and its suburbs. They said that the disbursement outlets were small shops in Mingora Bazaar where only a few people could be accommodated at a time.

According to BISP, Swat, at least 123,000 beneficiaries receive cash in grant of Rs5,000 each after every three months. They have to wait in long queues on the roads for receiving the cash.

“I am here in the queue from early morning to receive my cash, but after two hours I could not receive it because not only the system is very slow, there is only one agent in the shop,” said Zahida, an elderly woman who was waiting for her turn in Mingora.

The aged women said they faced ill treatment from the commuters on the road as the long queues often blocked their way.

The beneficiaries said that the government must set some conditions for the disbursement agents such as making proper sitting arrangements for them.

“There must be a proper and spacious place where we can sit before receiving our cash. It seems the government wants to disgrace us for the cash because when we come to the shop we don’t have a place to sit and wait. Additionally, everyone here treats us like animals by ordering us to wait outside on the road,” said Nasim Jehan, another elderly woman who was sitting outside a shop where cash was disbursed.

The women said that either the disbursement points should be increased or proper building should be allocated for the purpose. “If the government designates some houses for cash disbursement it would be good for us as majority of us are old,” said Shamim, another woman waiting to receive her cash.

Local people complained that when the beneficiaries received their cash they blocked the road creating problems for the commuters. They demanded of the government to change the location of disbursement points from bazaars to some side areas.

Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2019

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