ISLAMABAD The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) to convene a meeting of the Zakat secretaries of all the provinces to resolve the issue of Zakat Amleen, who had been working for last 20 years on contract basis, and submit a report till October 20. The bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Ghulam Rabbani suggested that instead from Zakat funds they (Zakat Amleen) should be paid from the provincial budget like other employees of the government departments. There were 4,547 'Zakat Amleen in Punjab and 483 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They are getting salary Rs7,000 per month from the Zakat funds of the district councils, though they work full time like the government employees of the Government. Each worker is given 10 union councils for the distribution of Zakat. Except salary they are not paid allowances since the system was introduced during the regime of Zia-ul-Haq. The Chief Justice directed Attorney General of Pakistan, Maulvi Anwarul Haq, who appeared on notice, to ask the Government to lay some policy in this regard even if the Government had to legislate in order to protect their rights. The AG said that Zakat was collected through banks and then distributed among the provinces through the Federal Government. He said that the Amleens job was to audit the Zakat distribution at district and union councils level. Justice Tariq Parvez noted that the payment of Zakat was a permanent feature so the persons who audited the distribution of Zakat should be treated at par with the other government employees. The Chief Justice remarked that this was a classic case of discrimination and clear violation of Articles 9 and 25 of 1973 Constitution, labour laws and the judgement of the Supreme Court. He said that they should also be governed by the same law. Additional Advocate General, Punjab, Khadim Hussain Qaisar, informed the court that since the 'Zakat Amleen, were not the regular employees of the Provincial Government, thus it was difficult to treat them at par with the provincial government employees. Later the court adjourned the hearing till October 20.