Rs286m diverted to defunct zakat bodies in Punjab: Report

Funds were allocated to non-functional entities.


Zahid Gishkori July 04, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


The ministry of religious affairs allocated Rs286 million for non-functional zakat and ushr committees in Punjab, an audit report showed on Sunday.


According to a report released by the Auditor-General of Pakistan, the money was released to committees in the province which had been non-operational for years. “Allocation of funds to non-functional committees resulted in wastages of zakat funds,” the report stated.

Although the report did not specify which of the committees the money was ‘granted’, auditors told The Express Tribune that it was the money set aside for zakat and ushr committees.

A spokesperson for the ministry, however, declined to comment, saying: “I cannot say anything (about the auditors’ assertions) because the matter has been referred to the Public Account Committee.”

The ministry, the auditors said, disbursed Rs6.4 billion among the needy between 2006 and 2008 out of a total allocation of Rs13 billion.

According to the report, the ministry lost another Rs394 million after zakat funds were invested in National Investment Trust (NIT) and the Investment Corporation of Pakistan (ICP) without
any authorization. Auditors also pointed out that the zakat and ushr department “mismanaged Rs69 million over unauthorised expenditure on an advertising campaign”.

The auditor-general even recommended initiating an inquiry, calling for recovery of funds, but the department officials rejected objections, saying that the advertising campaign was approved by the central zakat council and proper procedures were followed in the selection of the advertising agencies.

Ministry officials, it is learnt, misappropriated Rs87 million on the purchase of medicines through defective tenders or without arranging competitive bidding. Auditors also filed objections about the granting of exemption of zakat deductions to account holders of three banks, resulting in a loss of Rs41 million without any evidence of their non-resident status.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2011.

COMMENTS (3)

Mirza | 10 years ago | Reply Sharifs and their Punjab govt needs Zakat money more than anybody else. This poor family has more debts than a pennyless poor. Let us hand them over the whole Pakistan, in addition to Punjab without elections.
Meekal Ahmed | 10 years ago | Reply This is really shameful. However, no worries. Nothing will happen and no one will be called to account. We will read this, shake our head in disbelief, and move on.
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