BISP rebuts claims of corruption by British media

The spokesman for the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) has rebutted claims by a British newspaper, citing a report, which alleged “fraud and corruption’” in the distribution of aid money under the program.

Claims made by British newspaper Daily Mail are false and misleading, said the spokesperson.

A report by the Department for International Development, cited by the Daily Mail today in its article, said that British officials need to take concrete steps to ‘root out fraud and corruption’ in the distribution of aid money worth £420million under BISP.

BISP spokesman said that the same news was first published in January this year, adding that British Prime Minister Theresa May had praised the programme.

“The report also raised concerns that many recipients are unable to use cash machines to collect their money and are taken advantage of by others who take a cut to help them,” the article said.

The report said that “BISP needs to keep on top of operational risks including its procedures for identifying, reporting and rooting out fraud and corruption.

‘DfID will need to step up engagement with the [Pakistani] ministry of finance and BISP’s leadership for monitoring and managing these risks.”

A consultancy firm Mott MacDonald, carrying out checks on behalf of the DfID, found that about “a fifth of those receiving the handouts were paying fees for help withdrawing the money”.

The report highlighted various issues affecting the transparency of the program, including the inability of female beneficiaries to use the debit card, loss of passcodes and multiple visits to withdraw cash.

The DfID identified low literacy level as a major challenge which presents a hurdle in people using technology such as ATMs on their own.

The spokesman for the government department added that it routinely reviews programmes for transparency “value for money for the taxpayer, and this programme is no different”.


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