PML-N govt misused Zakat funds: Minister

PML-N govt misused Zakat funds: Minister

LAHORE: Provincial Minister for Zakat and Ushr Shaukat Laleka Friday said that Zakat funds worth millions of rupees were used by the PML-N government over the past 10 years for political purposes and it did not reach the deserving in any district of the province.

Responding to a question by PML-N MPA Mian Tahir Jameel, during the question hour in the Punjab Assembly (PA) session with Acting Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari in the chair here, he said the Punjab government had decided to conduct an audit of Zakat and Ushr funds of the past 10 years, adding the government was formulating a comprehensive policy to distribute Zakat funds among the deserving.

The Provincial Minister for Zakat and Ushr said the government was designing a system to distribute Zakat through biometric system.

Opposition MPA Mian Tajammul said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had failed to constitute Zakat committees even after a lapse of 5 months in power.

Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat, responding to a question, said that former Punjab chief minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif paid the expenses of his 40 foreign visits from his own pocket and he did not take any of his relatives along on these foreign trips.

Speaking, on a point of order, Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentary leader in the Punjab Assembly Hassan Murtaza said that the apex court had ordered to withdraw names of PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah from the Exit Control List (ECL), adding that the Federal government was not implementing the court orders. He said the provinces were a part of the Federation, adding that if the provinces would not support the Federation, the federal government would fall apart.

The PPP Parliamentary leader, while speaking on the floor of the house, alleged that PPP had been made a target of victimization during all previous regimes, adding that founding chairman PPP Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was a victim of custodial killing, former PPP prime minister Yousuf Raza Gillani had to resign from the premiership while PPP prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf had been facing trial for last many years.

He said the PPP should not be intimidated from jails.

The opposition MPA Samiullah Khan said the federal government should have immediately implemented Supreme Court orders of withdrawing the name of Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah from the ECL.

Punjab Housing Minister Mian Mehmood-ur-Rashid, responding to the queries, said Prime Minister Imran Khan had constituted a three member committee to decide whether to challenge apex court decision or to withdraw names of PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and CM Sindh Murad Ali Shah from the ECL.

Mian Mehmood-ur-Rashid said billions of rupees corruption was committed through fake accounts and money laundering, adding that no corrupt would be forgiven.

He said only Pakistan card would be applicable in the country while there was no room for the Sindh card.

Provincial Housing Minister said that Zardari Group and Omni Group had looted billions of rupees of the nation and they would have to account for it.

He said the government had been implementing Supreme Court decisions but accountability was not subservient to anybody’s whims.

The PPP members also staged a walk-out against the non-implementation of the apex court orders to remove names of the PPP leadership from the ECL.

Earlier, the Provincial Minister for Housing while speaking during the question hour, said that an amount of 1 billion 22 crore dollars had incurred on the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project, adding that the OLMT project would be completed by 30th July 2019.

The Minister told the house that 14 people had lost their lives during the completion of this project while the government paid 2.178 million rupees per head to the relatives of the deceased. He said 1065 Kanal land was acquired for the OLMT project.

Provincial Law Minister Raja Basharat announced to constitute a parliamentary committee regarding the exorbitant fee charged by the private schools in the province besides the non-implementation of the apex court order of 20 percent reduction in the school fee.

The Acting Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari adjourned the PA session for January 14 (Monday) at 3 p.m.