Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) and Actions Against POS Agent Misconduct

Date: 14 July 2024 7, 2024

The Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), established in 2008, has grown from assisting 8.3 million beneficiaries to over 10 million people. This program provides monthly financial aid to eligible individuals, primarily through the Benazir Kafalat initiative, which distributes 10,500 rupees to each beneficiary. However, since the introduction of the Biometric Verification System (BVS) in 2019, there have been numerous complaints about Point of Sale (POS) agents deducting money from these payments. This article delves into the measures taken to address these issues and ensure the fair distribution of aid.

Benazir Income Support Program

History of Complaints Since BISP started using POS agents for payment distribution in 2019, numerous beneficiaries have reported unauthorized deductions. These deductions have raised significant concerns, prompting a need for immediate and effective solutions.

Crackdown on Corrupt Agents The BISP team has conducted several crackdowns on corrupt POS agents. Senator Rubina Khalid emphasized the program’s commitment to combating these issues:

“The crackdown operations against bank agents who are involved in deductions from beneficiaries’ cash stipends are being carried out with full force.”

Enhancing Payment Methods

Collaborating with Additional Banks To tackle the problem of unauthorized deductions, BISP plans to collaborate with six additional banks. Previously, only two banks were involved, and their contracts had expired. Expanding the network of partner banks aims to enhance transparency and efficiency in the payment process.

Integration with RAAST BISP is also looking to integrate with RAAST, Pakistan’s first government-backed micro-payment gateway designed for Government-to-Person (G2P) payments. This integration will allow beneficiaries to receive payments directly using their Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) and withdraw money from any bank branch nationwide. This system promises faster and more convenient payment processing.

Improved Payment Distribution

Transition to Campsites Before the introduction of BISP campsites, beneficiaries faced difficulties receiving payments, often at small retail shops with inadequate facilities. The transition to campsites aimed to provide a more dignified and efficient payment process. These campsites now offer necessary amenities, ensuring a comfortable environment for beneficiaries to receive their aid.

Beneficiary Feedback Women, in particular, have expressed satisfaction with the new campsite system. The process is quicker, more organized, and addresses common concerns about the previous payment methods.

Quick Details

AspectDetails
Program Start Date2008
Current BeneficiariesOver 10 million
Monthly Payment10,500 Rupees
Payment MethodBiometric Verification System (BVS)
New Payment IntegrationRAAST
Additional Banks for PaymentsSix new banks

FAQs

Q1: What is the Benazir Kafalat Program?

A1: The Benazir Kafalat Program is a part of BISP that provides monthly financial aid of 10,500 rupees to eligible beneficiaries.

Q2: How are payments currently distributed?

A2: Payments are distributed through a Biometric Verification System (BVS) involving POS agents and ATMs.

Q3: What issues have been reported with POS agents?

A3: Beneficiaries have reported unauthorized deductions by POS agents from their payments.

Q4: What steps is BISP taking to address these issues?

A4: BISP is expanding its network to include six additional banks and plans to integrate with RAAST for more transparent and efficient payments.

Q5: How has the payment distribution process improved recently?

A5: BISP has shifted from retail shops to dedicated campsites for payment distribution, providing a more comfortable and dignified experience for beneficiaries.

Conclusion

The Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) is dedicated to ensuring the fair and efficient delivery of financial assistance to its beneficiaries. By expanding partnerships with banks, integrating with RAAST, and improving payment distribution methods, BISP aims to eliminate unauthorized deductions and enhance the overall payment process. These measures, combined with continued action against corrupt agents, will ensure that beneficiaries receive their full payments with dignity and ease.

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