As many as 24,000 deserving Zakat beneficiaries across the Rawalpindi division have been deprived of financial support for the last six months or so, thanks to the non-election of the chairmen of 3,510 local Zakat committees of the Punjab Zakat & Ushr department and non-release of zakat fund.
The free treatments, operations and dialysis of deserving patients have also halted in various hospitals as thousands of widows are still desperately awaiting financial assistance.
The caretaker government has also “failed” to appoint the chairman of the district Zakat committee despite the passing of 15 months. The deputy commissioner is acting as the acting chairman of the Zakat committee, while local Zakat committees are also being run by temporary administrators on an ad hoc basis.
Read: No quarterly payout for zakat beneficiaries
The district Zakat committee has also not released marriage grants to the girls of poor families in the past six months. Similarly, financial assistance for educational scholarships and leprosy and blind patients has also been halted.
Poor patients admitted to hospitals for free treatments including dialysis have been discharged without surgery. Hospital officials claim that the free treatment will resume once zakat funds are released by the caretaker government.
Affectees Misbah Bibi and Halima Begum told The Express Tribune that they are being refused payments by the officials concerned each month. They appealed to the caretaker chief minister to immediately release Zakat funds on humanitarian grounds for their smooth domestic expenditure and free treatment.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th2024.
#Zakat #crisis #deepens