The big news in the Budget 2008 was that Rs. 34 billion has been earmarked for Benazir Income Support Programme, and it might be increased to Rs. 50 billion, for the poorer segments of the society. I beg to differ from the idea. Are we helping the poor or increasing the fleet of beggars indirectly by destroying their self-respect. Since the Zakat and Usher schemes were started by Gen Ziaul Haq, billions of rupees have evaporated in the name of providing relief to the poor families. Could someone give details of the amount collected in the name of Zakat and its uses? May I suggest that instead of giving one thousand rupees to a few families, we should establish factories and small industrial units in the provinces from this money and provide jobs to the poor people. It would not only provide a permanent source of income to thousands but generate a lot of economic activity resulting in prosperity of Pakistan. -BILAL SHAHID, Rawalpindi, via e-mail, June 12.