Regulation: Law to regulate marriage bureaus proposed

Social Welfare Department worries over complaints.


Anwer Sumra December 08, 2011

LAHORE:


The Department of Social Welfare, Women Development and Baitul Maal has sent a proposal to the Punjab government asking that legislation be formulated to place marriage bureaus under its supervision.


The department, in a report sent to the Punjab government, observed that marriage bureaus operate across the province without any checks. Such bureaus are not even registered said the report.

The department report termed the bureaus “business oriented centres”, charging a fee that varies from Rs2,000 to Rs50,000.

The department has proposed legislation in line with the Maharashtra Regulations of Marriage Bureaus and Registration of Marriage Act of India.

The report suggests that such bureaus make huge profits but the clients are not even given a receipt of fees. Middle class families and overseas Pakistanis, the report said, were their most common clients.

It also said that there had been cases where brothels were found being run in the guise of marriage bureaus.

Mrs Ameer who operates a bureau told The Tribune that she charged a fee ranging from Rs5,000 to Rs30,000 “depending on the area where the clients live”.

Malik Muhammad Aslam, the Social Welfare, Women Development and Baitul Maal director general, said that the department had been receiving a lot of complaints about the bureaus.

“The department wants to register these bureaus for regular business.

The way these bureaus operate right now is a problem and the Punjab government needs a law to deal with it,” Aslam said.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2011.

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