NA body wants ‘guzara’ allowance instantly abolished
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Religious Affairs on Tuesday recommended that the Subsistence Allowance Scheme (Guzara Allowance) should be immediately abolished and schemes for collective benefit for the poor and needy should be initiated so that long-term benefits could be achieved.
The committee met under the chairmanship of Pir Muhammad Shah Khagga, according to a press release issued on Tuesday.
Members of the committee opined that the scheme had been subjected to corruption, and funds for the purpose had been massively misused. They pointed out various instances where allowance funds had been given to favourites.
The committee suggested that the Religious Affairs Ministry should get data from the Bureau of Statistics and allocate Zakat funds to the provinces on the basis of poverty and not population.
The committee also decided to convene a joint meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and the Council for Islamic Ideology to discuss and suggest remedial measures for the Zakat and Ushr collection and distribution system throughout the country. Pir Khagga said the Zakat system introduced in 1980 was comprehensive, however, due to mismanagement and the lack of a regular monitoring, evaluation and surveillance system, it had failed to achieve the desired objectives.
He directed the ministry to point out the weak areas so that committees of the parliament and the Ideological Council could suggest measures for its rehabilitation. The committee also asked the ministry to allocate funds for administrative expenditures for the local zakat councils. The committee was told that Rs 380 million were being spent on administrative expenditures. The committee wondered as to how the administrative expenditures were incurred out of the Zakat funds, as it was in contravention of Islamic injunctions.
Muhammad Ijazul Haq, religious affairs minister, Saeed Ahmed Chaudhry, Khawaja Shiraz Mehmood, Ghulam Hyder Samejo, Muhammad Noorul Haq Qadri, Shahida Akhtar Ali and Zammurd Khan attended the meeting.