Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Moonis Elahi Says UK Aid Should be Transparent

Moonis Elahi Says UK Aid Should be Transparent

The Daily Mail reported on Tuesday British Parliamentarians raised concerns over taxpayer's money sent to Pakistan in the form of aid. As much as 300 Million Pounds are being sent to Pakistan to support the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), a scheme that is marred with claims of fraud and embezzlement stated the website. However, British Prime Minister Theresa May defended the program saying it was within the rights and the aid was helping UK in its missions with Pakistan. Moonis Elahi lamented the BISP monitoring authority saying they have no structure of keeping the program transparent which raised concerns in the UK parliament.
The website further reported that according to statistics gathered from the BISP headquarters, over 235,000 families are currently being supported all over Pakistan and the number could increase to 441,000 families by 2020. The program started by PPP during its regime was aimed to support families below poverty line in the country. Moonis Elahi said the figures look good on the papers but in reality it is unclear to which families are being supported. The process should be made more transparent so such questions would not be raised in future and Pakistan would have a clean image in front of the world.
The revelations irked parliamentarians who asked for the policy to spend 0.7% of taxpayer's money in the form of aid to foreign countries be dissolved or revised. According to the Daily Mail, Nigel Evans, the conservative Tory Party MP who sits on the Commons' International Development Committee, demanded an investigation into the cash handouts. He was quoted as saying, "normally aid is given to any country in a crisis or when it needs help as it is the only way to provide relief to the people who have suffered. It should've been a temporary handout but it seems we are giving the dole out to Pakistan".
He said the cash transfers were "clearly open to fraud", calling on the International Development Secretary Priti Patel to urgently examine the process "to ensure that there is proper accounting for how this money is being delivered". Moonis Elahi welcomed Theresa May's stance to support continuation of the program saying no matter how unclear the process may be, but there are families that are being supported and a large number of people live below the poverty line in Pakistan. May's spokeswoman said, "In the last four years cash transfers supported by UK aid have helped almost nine million of the world’s poorest people to buy food, medicine, and clean water.""These are cash transfers that are focused on making sure that aid is targeted at those who need it, when they need it," she said.