Zakat funds used for publicity drive: Auditors

Rs286m spent on expenditures of ‘non-existent’ zakat committees.

Express June 13, 2011


The zakat and ushr ministry spent millions on its publicity campaign during the last financial year originally meant for needy families, according to the Auditor General of Pakistan’s annual report for fiscal year 2011.

According to the report, the ministry spent Rs69.21 million on its advertisement campaign in violation of rules set out in the Zakat and Ushr Ordinance of 1980, under which the zakat system was introduced in Pakistan.

According to the report, when asked to explain the discrepancy, the ministry replied that Zakat Council Chairperson Zumurud Khan, a member of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, had approved the campaign and advertising agencies were selected following proper procedure.

But the auditor-general’s office refused to accept this response and recommended the government to conduct an inquiry, assign responsibility and recover the amount that could have been better utilised.

The report says that during 2011, the ministry released Rs286.1 million to Punjab on account of “administrative expenses”, including payment of salaries and other perks for zakat committee members. But, interestingly, these committees were non-functional. Authorities claim this amount was spent on expenses such as the internal audit, staff salaries, stationery and printing charges, and allowances for heads of local zakat committees.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2011.


Meekal Ahmed | 10 years ago | Reply I think I had wondered somewhere about an audit of this scam, the BSIP and the bait-ul-maal. There are also other wlefare funds which don't provide much welfare. What does the workers welfare fund do in this time of low job growth and unemployment? Does it provide unemployment insurance to workers and if not why not? Does it assist in job search and skill up-gradating? I am sure readers would like to know what happens now? Sadly, not much. I think that would be a case of criminal neglect. That corruption once brought to light means nothing (except a head-line) because it leads to no accountability. All we have ever managed to do in Pakistan is go after our political foes. In that dark art, we are masters.
aslam imran | 10 years ago | Reply @muhammad aamir akhtar: we are a society built on hypocrisy and double standards.If a hindu or christian converts to islam,we celebrate and treat the newcomer as a person who has joined the right side after living in sin.but when a muslim tries to convert to any other religion or becomes an athiest or agnostic,immediately a fatwa for his/her death is announced.why this ugly double standard and religious hypocrisy?? why is a person allowed to convert INTO but not OUT of islam??
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