Audit exposes rampant corruption in Zakat Fund


The menace of corruption is so much deep-rooted and penetrated into the society and the administrative apparatus that the dishonest government functionaries did not even spare the Zakat Fund, primarily meant for the financial assistance of poor of the poorest. The audit report 2010-11 on the accounts of Central Zakat Fund revealed severe cases of financial irregularities and embezzlement worth millions of rupees.
It pointed an expenditure of Rs 69.212 million incurred by the Ministry of Zakat and Ushr on an advertisement campaign which was not permissible in the Zakat and Ushr Ordinance 1980. Furthermore, an amount of Rs 286 million was released to Punjab on account of administrative expenses during the year 2009-10 despite the fact that Zakat committees in the province were not functional during said period.
Also, an amount of Rs 10.6 million collected by the State Bank of Pakistan on voluntary basis during the financial year 2009-10 was not accounted for in reconciliation statement. It is to mention that the auditors had unearthed a similar case in the accounts of Ministry of Interior last year in which challan fee worth millions of rupees received under the head of arms license fee was not deposited in the treasury. Interestingly, Islamabad Zakat and Ushr Committee (IZUC) also did not reconcile the figures appeared in its account record and in the books of Federal Treasury Office for the period from 1st of May 2010 to August 31, 2010. The disputed amount is around Rs 10.3 million.

And the health institutions are also not lagging behind, as two health welfare committees (HWCs) did not produce record of the expenditure amounting to Rs 5.8 million. Four hospitals purchased medicines worth Rs 8.62 million from various suppliers without adopting open tenders while eight others utilised Rs 77.45 million in procurement process from various suppliers through defective tender system.

The report also mentions that local Zakat committees, Rawat 1 and Tarlai Kalan, of the ICT purchased medicines worth Rs 1.1 million setting aside the due process. 14 HWCs incurred an expenditure of Rs 12.12 million on treatment of patients whose eligibility were either not determined or determined by other than the local Zakat committee chairman of the beneficiary’s area of residence.

The audit observed that five LZCs of ICT purchased medicines worth Rs 1.6 million without determining the eligibility beneficiaries and doctor’s prescription.

The auditors further reveal that the HWC Ghurki Teaching Hospital Lahore transferred one million rupees from its account to the account of hospital during year 2009-10. A number of bills exceeding Rs 3000 were rounded off to Rs 3000 by medicine supplier, which shows that either the amount of the bills exceeding Rs 3000 was charged from the deserving persons or fewer medicines were given to them than actually prescribed by the doctors.

In violation of laid down procedure, the chairmen of different LZCs disbursed a sum of Rs 1.1 million during 2009-10 in cash or through open cheques instead of crossed ones as result of which chances of misusing the Zakat Fund could not be ruled out, the audit said.