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Rs. 1 bln unutilized from Zakat fund in last year: Minister.

ISLAMABAD, April 30, 2009 (Balochistan Times) -- Minister for Zakat and Ushr Noor-ul-Haq Qadri on Thursday informed the Upper House that around Rs one billion of Zakat fund out of the over 3.680 billion could not be disbursed among the deserving people during the year 2007-08. Replying to a question, the minister said that owing to low utilization of the Zakat fund all the provinces were allowed to use the unspent balances upto June 30, 2008. But despite extending the date the provinces remained unable to utilize the amount, he added. Telling details of the lapsed amount, he said Punjab could not utilize 251.66 millions rupees out of the total 2846.657 millions, while province of Sindh only disbursed 411.577 million rupees among the needy of the total 886.880 million. He said the lapsed amount of Balochistan, NWFP, Islamabad Capital Territory and Northern areas was Rs. 151.478 million, 123.087 million, 0.719 million and 0.008 million respectively. The main cause for non-distribution of the Zakat funds is that Zakat Committees were not existing in many parts of the country, Qadri said. He expressed the optimism that the during ongoing year, the Zakat fund would be fully utilized as Zakat committees had been constituted. Meanwhile, Minister for Privatization Syed Naveed Qamar has said that 17 oil depots out of the total 29 were closed down during the last two years to reduce dumping. These depots were closed to save the consumers from additional Inland Freight Equalization Margin (IFEM) cost, he told the Upper House. He said at present only 12 oil depots were operational in the country. Of these six are located in Punjab, three in NWFP and two each in Sindh and Balochistan, he added. He said the closing of the oil depots had saved Rs 1.159 billion rupees. To another question, he informed that at present the total number of houses hired by Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited was 163. These houses are being used for offices, consumer service centres and complaint centres but not for residential purposes, he said. He said 140 houses were located in Punjab, 20 in NWFP and three in the province of Sindh. He said an amount of over 4.6 million rupees was being paid monthly for hiring these buildings.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Apr 30, 2009
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