Punjab Benevolent Fund Board fails people


LAHORE: Punjab Benevolent Fund Board, despite having millions in its exchequer, has failed to provide relief to the widows of the government officials. The families of these officials are engaged in a futile struggle to get their rightful money for various purposes including scholarships and dowry. Even the requests for funeral funding are not entertained on time.

Punjab Benevolent Fund Board has no permanent secretary which shows how serious the bureaucracy is when it comes to the board performance. The absence of the secretary has hatched a whole lot of backlog cases. Over 24,750 widows’ monthly stipend cases are pending, while 12,476 money-for-dowry cases are also pending in the department.

But this delay happens only in case of officials’ families, but when it comes to officers’ families their requests for scholarships or whatever, their cases are entertained in less than a day.

The children of government employees get scholarship money for education in the name of Annual Welfare Fund, but it’s been three years now that this payment has been delayed for more than five months: a big question mark on the performance of the board. A source in the board told Pakistan Today that in the two-year-long secretary-free period, the employees of the board are only there to kill time; the lower staff disappears, during work timings, for hours. All the districts of the province are witness to the poor performance of the board.

Punjab Benevolent Fund Board Director Administration Waqar Ahmad, when contacted, told Pakistan Today that these problems have increased due to the absence of the permanent secretary, but these will be sorted out as soon as a new secretary is appointed.

He said the board has received more than 50,000 applications for the scholarship programme, out of which 15,000 are entertained while remaining are in process. To solve the issues of non-payment of funds, the board is discussing this with the Bank of Punjab, and soon, in compliance with the new regulations, all the pending cheques will be issued.