Informing the SC audit of the Baitul Mal budget and Zakat fund sample audit found more than 60% of irregular expenditure
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s General Auditor (AGP) has found large irregularities in the Zakat and Baitul Mall funds during the 2019/20 audit year.
In accordance with the top court order in the Covid-19 suo motu case, a report was submitted by the AGP office where it was stated that a 100% budget audit had been carried out and a deviation in the tone of Rs3.1 billion was found by the audit.
Pakistan’s Baitul Mal budget is Rp5 billion and total irregular expenditure reaches 62%, according to the report. A total of Rs475 million recovery was also indicated in the report.
The report said that the total budget of the Zakat department was Rs7. 38 billion. An audit sample of 13% of this budget, totaling Rs961 million, was conducted where irregularities of Rs574 million – or 60% of the amount audited – were detected.
The answer says that Zakat collected by the federal government is being transferred to the provinces according to the formula. Of the total collection, 7% is saved for the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), [former] Federal Tribal Areas (Fata) and Gilgit-Baltistan.
“The ICT share is 35%, [ex-]Fata 46% and GB 19%. The remaining 93% is given to the provinces. The provincial portion is 57% for Punjab, 24% for Sindh, 14% for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and 5% for Balochistan, “he said.
An audit if Zakat has been carried out since 1986. The Islamic Idealogy Council (CCI) has informed the Supreme Court that Zakat funds can be used for administrative purposes but with caution and their use must be minimized.
On April 20, a bigger bench checks reports on Zakat funds. The court in its order expressed dissatisfaction with the response from the provincial government regarding its distribution. “The same thing happened with the Baitul Mal funds,” the court order said.
“Therefore, we need more detailed information about their distribution and special reports are needed from each Provincial Government, ICT and GB, showing transparency in the distribution of Zakat and Baitul Mal funds,” the order has stated.
“We also want to know what criteria have been adopted by the provincial government, ICT and GB, to make payments to recipients of Zakat and Baitul Mal funds, and what are the details vis-a-vis payment of money for people in need and costs incurred on the administrative side of the two departments, “he added.
“The opinion of the Ulama, about how the Zakat and Baitul Mal funds can be used, is needed to obtain and therefore, the opinion of the chairman, the Islamic Ideology Council, and also about Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, an Islamic scholar and a former Judge of Appeals Shariat Bench from this court, obtained in this case; specifically, on the question of whether the Zakat and Baitul Mal funds can be used to pay salaries to employees and officers of these two departments, as well as to pay administrative costs from these departments. “