Benazir Income Support ProgramBy Dr. Hassan Isfahani • Jun 12th, 2008 • Category: Politics • 139 Comments
Finance Minister Syed Naveed Qamar and his team has done a good job of formulating the upcoming Budget of Pakistan. In this budget, they are facing many disparate challenges. At one side they have to render much needed relief to the hapless populace and on the other hand they have to pull the economy out of the chasm.
Though one cannot call the just announced budget a dreamy one, but at least its a good step in the right direction, and freshly it provides some relief to the poor and needy. The new program which is termed as Benazir Income Program which is worth 24 billions dollars would provide some semblance of relief to the people. According to this program, each poor family will be provided Rs. 1000 monthly and the assessment of the poor would be done from the NADRA data. Though in these times, when the prices of everything have gone through the roof and 1000 is just nothing, but then something is better than nothing, and the budget says that this 24 billion would be made 50 billion with the passage of time.
The rise in the salaries of the government employees up to 20% is little low, and it should be at least up to 35% if not more, given the way prices have sky rocketed in the recent months. The increase in the pension is also a welcome step, and government should also announce some relief allowance for the people.
Pakistan’s economy grew by 5.8 per cent against original target of 7.2 per cent, and that opens up the ghost claims of Shaukat Aziz’s economic miracle. Now this government must not push the problems under the rug, and they have to tackle them with iron hand and iron will while taking the nation into confidence.