Despite devolution: Centre retains right to collect, distribute Zakat

Published: July 28, 2012

Sindh terms distribution on population basis ‘injustice’. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: 

Notwithstanding the fact that the federal Zakat ministry has been devolved to the provincial governments after the passage of the 18th Amendment, the provinces still have no right to collect and distribute Zakat on their own. 

Instead of giving the provinces full autonomy, the federal government on Friday decided to retain the Zakat collection right for another two years.

The decision was made at a meeting held at the Sindh Secretariat where chief secretaries of all the four provinces were present and the meeting was presided over by Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah.

Sources told The Express Tribune that three provinces – Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) – insisted that the federal government collect Zakat and distribute it among the provinces on a population basis.

Sindh was the only province which demanded provincial governments be given the right to collect Zakat and distribute it.

After lengthy negotiations, the federal government representative decided to collect Zakat for another two years — after which the right will be transferred to the provincial governments.

Sindh’s woes

Talking to The Express Tribune, Sindh Minister for Zakat and Ushr Sajjid Jokhio said that after the 18th Amendment it was the constitutional right of provincial governments to collect and distribute Zakat.

A major chunk of Zakat is being collected from Sindh and distributed to other provinces on the so-called basis of population, which is unjust, he added.

“Balochistan and K-P contribute a very small amount of Zakat in the divisible pool and get a bigger share on the basis of their population. The same situation applies to Punjab, which gets more than it collects because it is the largest province,” he complained.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs, while talking to media, said that all the provinces have unanimously decided to hand over the Zakat collection powers to federal government till 2015.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • Awans
    Jul 28, 2012 - 10:25AM

    Well the reason is simple that majority of the multinationals are registered in Sindh along with their accounts and based on that larger pool of zakat is collected there. Punjab, Balochistan and KPK should reject those companies who dont have a divisible pool of Amount in their accounts spread across the provinces because the products are being used in their provinces while Profitability is being stacked in Sindh and sinche they have no idea how Federal Nations really run so now they are thinking like they are running the nation.. More than 70 percent of total Trade in Karachi is actually destined for KPK and Punjab and from now on Punjab and KPK should tell the government that GST and All Taxes should be deducted on the border of the Provinces rather than in Sindh as all Products taxes are deducted in Karachi and as a result these provinces despite contributing more got rebukes from SIndh as this is how federal nation is designed. Also complete autonomy in future simply means that we have complete different countries rather than one Pakistan as the definition of Complete autonomy does not fit well with the Federal Nation concept at all and it simply states completely independent nations from each other.

    Recommend

  • hamza
    Jul 28, 2012 - 10:47AM

    sindh is a cry baby…
    cry on the issues pertaining to other provinces but happily block water supplies to balochistan.

    dear sindh which province will have the most money? the one which collects the most tax, the one with most of the population, the one with the least poverty…yes your right its punjab..
    but no one cares or appreciates when punjab gives part of its care to other provinces.. cardialogy centres, schools, universities etc are being made in balochistan from punjab’s money..and if im not forgetting punjab’s taxpayers money was donated to sindh floods last year.. but we dont care about it if it benefits the nation

    sindhi leaders must act like mature people…not SAEEN of pakistan..something called unity lacks.Recommend

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