ISLAMABAD: The Government has changed the formula to disburse Zakat resources among the provinces on population basis. This was recommended in a meeting of the sub-committee constituted by the Cabinet to review the Zakat System held under the Chairmanship of Federal Minister for Religious Affairs, Zakat and Ushr, Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah.
The committee observed that as per present law, Zakat funds are being distributed among the provinces on population basis, which does not cater the need of poor population living in smaller provinces. The committee also recommended that while distributing the resources of Zakat among the provinces should be given to neglected and backward areas and added Balochistan and NWFP will get more funds then their shares work out on population basis.
It discussed Zakat & Ushr Ordinance 1980 in detail and there was consensus opinion that law was not in line with the present requirement and needed overhauling. By and large remaining within existing structure, representation of civil society in the Central Zakat Council is essential. Similarly structural changes may be made in the formation of Provincial Zakat Councils, District and Local Zakat Committees.
The Minister stressed for greater collaboration between Zakat and Bait-ul-Mal and utilization of each other data base to avoid over-lapping in the disbursement of funds and assured holding the continues meetings of the Committee for early finalization of its reports. Federal Minister for Social Welfare and Special Education Nawabzada Khawaja Muhammad Khan Hoti, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Secretary Ministry of Religious Affairs, Wakeel Ahmed Khan and Provincial Zakat Secretaries were also present in the meeting.-SANA