Punjab Bait-ul-Maal fails to provide relief to marginalised segments

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LAHORE: The Punjab Bait-ul-Maal has failed to provide social protection to marginalised segments of the society due to the delay in the notification of the Bait-ul-Maal Council and an Ameen, Pakistan Today has learnt.

Pakistan Today further learnt that the government of Punjab has the powers to establish a council to be called the ‘Punjab Bait-ul-Mal Council’ and the council consists of an Ameen who is the head of the council which consists of not more than fourteen official and non-official members.

The council administrates the Punjab Bait-ul-Mal and performs such other functions in relation to the Bait-ul-Mal as the government may assign to it.

After the notification of the council, the government establishes a fund to be known as the Punjab Bait-ul-Mal to which credit the grants from the government, the federal government, local bodies, international Islamic agencies and voluntary donations including aadqaat, khairat and atiat.

The funds are utilised for the relief and rehabilitation of the poor and the needy particularly poor widows and orphans, educational assistance to the poor and deserving students, medical assistance to the poor and charitable purposes. The main Bait-ul-Mal committee distributes funds to the District Bait-ul-Mal committees.

The main objective of the department was to give relief and rehabilitation to the poor and the needy particularly poor widows and orphans whereas, the department was also responsible to give the educational assistance to the poor and deserving students. Increasing and expanding the social assistance programmes of social safety networks for the underprivileged sections of the society such as the disabled, widows, orphans, the indignant, the destitute and the sick through Bait-ul-Mal and other such institutions in public and private sectors.

Sources in the Punjab Bait-ul-Mal said, “No council and Ameen have been appointed or notified by the new government whereas the previous council which was established by the prior government was also dissolved by the PTI government. The delays in the appointment of council and Ameen are adversely affecting the poor who need financial assistance from the department. There are no district committees and the applicants who come directly to the office are also waiting for help. It was the responsibility of the new government to notify the council and amen but they have nothing to do with poor”.

“Even during the month of Ramzan needy are waiting for help and because of the unavailability of Ameen and notification of the council all the matters are pending and people who are surviving on these funds are helpless. On a daily basis, the department is getting applications and poor people are visiting the office and begging for their dues,” the sources further added.

An official of Punjab Bait-ul-Mal Muhammad Ayub told this scribe that the government has taken up this matter. “At the government level, the working on council and appointment of Ameen are under consideration and very soon this issue will be resolved,” he said.