LAHORE - Punjab Minister for Zakat & Ushr Shoukat Ali Laleka has said that Zakat was disbursed among 860,000 deserving  people during the last two years.

Giving an overview the Zakat & Ushr Department  performance in a video message, he said that the department provided financial assistance to deserving people and technical education to their children to strengthen them financially.    

He said that the department made laws to resolve the issue of ‘stopgap arrangement’ and Deputy Commissioners were directed to perform duties as administrators of Zakat and disburse the amount among the needy people as soon as possible.

He said the department had ensured 33 per cent representation of the ladies and increased their representation from 48,000 to 73,000 to ensure women empowerment.

The provincial minister said the department had restructured the Punjab Zakat Council, and chairman and members had been appointed in 33 districts on merit as well as 30,000 local committees had been constituted.

He said the department gave away “guzara” [subsistence] allowance to 170,000 deserving people and increased quarterly installment from Rs 3.000 to Rs 4,500 and Rs 4,500 to Rs 6,000 for blind persons.

The minister said the department had provided 100 per cent additional funds to Tehsil Headquarter Hospitals and District Headquarters Hospitals during the last two years.

About contribution of the department during COVID-19 pandemic, Shoukat Ali said the department distributed Rs 9,000 per person allowance among 200,000 deserving people at their doorsteps.

He said the department investigated 36,000 families to find out whether they were deserving or not for Zakat so that non-deserving families could be discouraged.

He said that the deserving people could download Zakat forms and information about the department from department’s Facebook page.

He said that transparency was ensured in disbursement of Zakat and other funds so that the deserving people might not be affected due to coronavirus pandemic.