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Punjab government doubles marriage grant

Hassan AkhtarLahore: Provincial Zakat Council decided hundred per cent increase in the marriage grant and subsistence allowance for deserving persons and also extended the tenure of all such Districts Zakat Committees where new committees have not been constituted so far up to November 30, 2014.

This was decided at a meeting of Provincial Zakat Council chaired by Chairman Justice (R) Akhtar Hassan, here today. Secretary Zakat & Usher Habib-ur-Rehman Gillani, Administrator Zakat Muhammad Yousaf Butt, representatives of Social Welfare, Finance, Local Government departments, Maulana Raghib Hussain Naeemi and other members attended the meeting.

The meeting was told that the marriage grant of Rs. 10 thousand had been fixed ten years ago and it needs immediate increase under present circumstances, upon which the council gave approval to enhancing this amount to Rs. 20 thousand. Secretary Zakat & Usher Habib-ur-Rehman Gillani briefed Chairman and members of the council that the amount of subsistence allowance of Rs. 500 per month is being given for the last 14 years and there is a proposal to enhance this amount due to inflation, upon which, members of the council unanimously gave approval to increase this amount to Rs. 1000. The meeting decided that after the declaring a person as a deserving, he will be given subsistence allowance and Eid grant for at least one year and in case of death or removing the name of the deserving person due to any other reason, prior approval of the subcommittee of Provincial Zakat Council will be necessary.

The meeting also gave approval to the distribution of Zakat fund through telecommunication companies and also launching it as a pilot project in three districts including Lahore, Sheikhupura and Hafizabad. It was decided that the data of deserving persons for subsistence allowance will be verified from the date base of NADRA. It was decided to check the data compiled for Benazir Income Support Programme and also directed all Zakat Committees to provide complete particulars of deserving persons so that the genuine deserving persons could be selected and the Zakat system could be made transparent. Members of the council expressed their indignation over non-payment of salaries to the Zakat paid staff and not renewing the service period by District Zakat Committee Sheikhupura and constituted a special committee headed by Maulana Raghib Hussain Naeemi for issuing show cause notice and reviewing all matters for further action. The committee will submit its report to the council within 15 days.

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