–Balochistan govt says massive irregularities in distribution of Zakat funds
ISLAMABAD: The federal government and all four provincial governments on Saturday submitted a response to the Supreme Court (SC) explaining the measures taken so far to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The federal government in its report informed the court that the shopping malls and wedding halls would be closed till May 31. The committee allowed the opening of small shopping malls for the convenience of the people.
In its reports, the Punjab government stated there was no fraud in the Zakat fund. The Auditor General raised objections to the violation of rules in the distribution of funds and added that there were no allegations of theft or embezzlement in the Auditor General’s objections.
The report stated that the provincial government launched Punjab Infectious Diseases and Control Prevention Ordinance 2020 for Public Health and law and order. The federal government gave the provinces the power to decide on lockdowns, the report added.
The report stated that the business activities were suspended in Punjab on the direction of the federal government. Under Articles 143 and 149, the provinces were bound to comply with the directives of the federal government, it added. Lockdown was essential for public health and the situation could affect federal taxes, it added.
All educational institutions will remain closed until July 15. As per the order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, steps are being taken to deal with the coronavirus under the national policy, the health ministry stated in its reply.
The Sindh government said the tax revenue to the federal government was slashed due to the lockdown.
The report stated that the Sindh government had not taken any steps to stop the federal tax.
The reply stated that the Sindh government was using all its resources to deal with the coronavirus and so far more than one hundred thousand coronavirus tests had been done in the province. About the Zakat fund, it said the fund was audited annually by the Auditor General and the action would be taken as per the report of the Auditor General, it added.
However, the Balochistan government said there were massive irregularities in the Zakat fund. According to the Zakat Fund audit report from 2015 to 2018, Rs 1.002 billion was not spent, it added. The report stated that cantonment hospitals were given Rs2 million unfairly and no record ofRs 51 million spent on treatment of deserving patients was provided.
The report stated that no record of medicine provided to patients worth Rs5 million was found while district Zakat Committees did not submit a refund record of Rs 4.731 million. Rs 28 million was spent by appointing incompetent chairmen of local zakat committees, it added.
The report stated that scholarships worth hundreds of thousands of rupees were given to the children of educational institutes and madrassas without any record. Qila Abdullah Zakat Committee illegally released Rs 5.429 million to religious madrassas, it added. It stated that local Zakat Committees issued 24 million illegal open cheques. Provincial Zakat funds were not released due to political appointments in different districts.