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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Pakistan: Helping the needy: Zakat, dowry assistance revised after 31 years

The Provincial Zakat Council has increased the monthly stipend for the needy after 31 years. The raise has been approved for nearly five million recipients of zakat in the province, The Express Tribune has learnt.
This includes dowry grants. The amount has been revised after 20 years. The amount has been raised by up to 100%.
The amount of zakat for a single person has been increased from Rs500 to Rs1,000.
The provincial government had earlier revised the dowry fund in 1994, announcing Rs10,000 for each deserving family. The amount has been raised to Rs20,000.
The eligibility of a family for the fund is determined by the Punjab Baitulmal and charity organisations operating under the Provincial Zakat Council.
The government will start paying the revised zakat and dowry funds from the next month.
The council has informed District Zakat Councils about the raise in the stipends.
A study of the official record revealed that zakat councils in all 36 districts have submitted 21 requests to the council over five years for raising the funds.
Some of the beneficiary families The Express Tribune spoke to said the government should have raised the amount by 500%.
Naseem Bibi, a daily wager, said she was happy with the raise in the dowry fund. “Although the government should have announced a raise of 400%, the current announcement is a welcome move,” she said.
Muzafargarh Zakat Officer Muhammad Adnan said he had received provincial government’s orders for the raise in funds. He said the district zakat office currently had for three months. “We have funds for July, August and September. The beneficiaries will be paid in line with the new directive,” he said.

(The Express Tribune / 14 September 2014)
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