RAHIM YAR KHAN: The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) administration is going to launch a new payment system to the beneficiaries of the assistance scheme by eliminating the system of two private banks due to irregularities and corruption, says Muhammad Khalifa, the director field operations of the BISP at its head office in Islamabad.

Khalifa was speaking on a visit to Rahim Yar Khan as a chairman of inquiry committee constituted by BISP chairperson. The committee has two members Deputy Director (Operations) Punjab Azfar Munir and Assistant Director Field Operations Islamabad Ghulam Mustafa.

Khalifa told Dawn that after the malpractices and complaints of corruption by the retailers as well as bank officials in RYK and Sindh, he sent his recommendations to the higher-ups of the BISP to disburse amount to the beneficiaries in an easier and transparent way. He said a pilot project for the payment would be launched in the current month in specific districts only.

“Under the new system, each beneficiary will open his own account with the bank and debit her amount by cheque. This new model would eliminate all the corrupt practices,” Khalifa claimed.

Earlier, the BISP inquiry committee visited different shops of the retailers on Railway Road and got the data of all beneficiaries of the recent tranche of the BISP. The committee traced more than 200 women beneficiaries who had received their amount after deductions by retailers while 65 appeared in the BISP office to get payment by the committee.

Assistant Director Ghulam Mustafa told this correspondent that two cases were registered with the A-Division Police Station over the corruption in the BISP disbursement while these retailers on the Railway Road were blocked.

During the inquiry, the regional business head of the private bank with two officers was also questioned about the wrong practice of retailers and issuance of devices to them. But bank staff could not provide satisfactory answers about deductions made by their retailers; however, they denied the allegations of getting extra amount for devices and their login.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2023

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