LAHORE - A committee formulated to streamline the affairs of Zakat & Usher, has recommended that priority should be given to the disabled and blind persons at the time of distribution of zakat as they fully deserve for it.

A 9-member committee, headed by Provincial Minister for Zakat & Usher Malik Nadeem Kamran met here on Sunday and gave approval to its recommendations.

It recommended compiling of existing data of deserving persons and harmonizing the old method of distribution of zakat among mustehkeen on modern lines through amendment in Punjab Zakat & Usher Amendment Bill-2014.

Provincial Provincial Minister for Population Welfare Begum Zakia Shahnawaz, Assembly Members Dr. Aysha Ghaus Pasha, Ms Hina Pervez Butt, Secretary Zakat & Usher Habibur Rehman Gillai, Secretaries of local government, women development, law and parliamentary affairs departments also attended the meeting.

Provincial Minister for Zakat & Usher said that under the old method zakat was provided among mustehkeen through bank accounts and they had to open bank accounts and visit bank repeatedly for getting cheque cashed. He said that district zakat committees had issued cheques of personal ledger account to local zakat committees and amount had been transferred in this account through local zakat committees after a lengthy procedure. Therefore, it has been decided that the zakat amount should be distributed through modern system like easy paisa and other such outlets so that the deserving persons should not open bank accounts and could get amount from any shop at their doorstep.

Provincial Minister said that provision of free training to the widow deserving zakat at vocational training institutes is being considered seriously so that they could earn their livelihood honourably after getting training in different skills.

The meeting was told that the basic purpose of compiling data of three institutions providing zakat is to discourage the persons getting financial assistance from more than one institution and the correct information to real mustehkeen. Women assembly members stressed that the amount of Zakat given to deserving persons should be increased so such extent that they could live honourably.

Earlier, Secretary Zakat & Usher Habib ur Rehman Gillani gave a briefing about the amendment bill of Punjab Zakat Usher Act 2014 and thoroughly discussed all clauses of the Bill. Members of the committee after discussing the amendment bill in detail recommended for getting its final approval.