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June 19, 2019

Rs40.5m allocated for the poor remain unspent


June 19, 2019

LAHORE: A sum of Rs40.5 million allocated budget could not be spent on needy and poor people of Punjab by Department of Social Welfare and Bait-ul-Maal Punjab, The News learnt.

Sources in the department confirmed that a meeting, presided by Director General Afshan Kiran, was held at Directorate General, Department of Social Welfare and Bait-ul-Maal Punjab Tuesday here to discuss the budget be surrendered or sent to District Bait-ul-Maal Committees.

Owing to unavailability of Punjab Bait-ul-Maal Ameen, thousands of needy people, including special persons, widows, patients, poor men, women etc were deprived of financial assistance. Needy students were not provided stipend or financial assistance as the post of Ameen was lying vacant for last six months.

Ameen is a head of Bait-ul-Maal Council. Bait-ul-Maal Council plays a pivotal role in the department as no funds can be disbursed without its approval. According to the Punjab Bait-ul-Maal Act 1991, the chief minister nominates the head of the council, who is called ‘Ameen’.

“The government is working on it speedily,” said Secretary Social Welfare & Bait-ul-Maal Ambreen Raza, adding that an Ameen will be appointed soon. The secretary has written a letter to DG Social Welfare and Bait-ul-Maal, “The budget, available in the SDA account regarding grant-in-aid in respect of Punjab Bait-ul-Maal grant, Punjab Welfare Trust for the Disabled and Behbood Association might lapse. Hence it is requested that budget may be disbursed as per codal formalities”. Sources confirmed that the chief minister has made a search committee under the leadership of Law Minister to find an Ameen. It is pertinent to mention here that Ameen is appointed by the ruling party on political basis. As political party completes it tenure, the Ameen becomes dysfunctional.

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