PESHAWAR: The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday released 619.7 million rupees for the payment of fees to imams of mosques and religious leaders of minorities across the province.
In a notification, the Ministry of Finance said it had agreed to release Rs 619.7million through the reallocation of funds as the FY2021-2022 first quarter allocation for prayer leaders and prayer leaders. minority leaders.
The special assistant to the chief minister of Auqaf and religious affairs, Zahoor Shakir, told Dawn that the government has allocated 2.6 billion rupees to pay a stipend to imams of mosques and minority leaders.
He said that in the first phase, the government had collected and verified the contact details of more than 6,500 religious leaders and would pay each of them a stipend of 10,000 rupees each month.
CM assistant says mobile app on maps is more in line with program
The CM assistant said the government had previously registered around 22,000 religious leaders across the province, but that in January it decided to look at the data collected in the first phase, including the numbers of ID card and bank accounts of about 6,500 people.
He said the government will launch a mobile app for registering more religious leaders.
Mr Shakir said religious leaders can register with the government by contacting the relevant deputy commissioners and Auqaf offices.
He said the provincial government had considered allocating stipends to religious leaders in 2018 and that an exercise was conducted to register prayer leaders from across the province, where more than 22,000 people have been registered.
The special assistant to the chief minister said the exercise was carried out by the Auqaf department and the district administrations.
He said paying allowances to religious leaders was not a project and that the provincial government wanted to continue with it.
Meanwhile, government spokesman Kamran Khan Bangash, in a statement released here, said that after the Ehsaas, Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme and Sehat Card program, the start of the benefit program was a step towards transformation. of Pakistan into a true Islamic welfare state. .
He said paying an allowance was a one-time step, which would provide financial assistance to religious leaders.
Mr Bangash said intuition showed that the national chessboard belonged to all segments of the population.
He said Chief Minister Mahmood Khan had given orders to the relevant authorities to ensure the transparency, fairness and merit of the allowance program and that the government would immediately address any shortcomings or complaints about it.
The prayer leader allowance program was designed by former Chief Minister Pervez Khattak in late 2017, ahead of the 2018 general election.
Mr Khattak wanted to launch the program in the last days of his government, but that was not the case due to administrative hurdles, including issues with the payment and registration mechanism.
However, his successor, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, soon after taking office, took up the issue and called on relevant government departments to launch the program.
JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman opposed the initiative, declaring it part of the Western agenda for the country and an attempt to bribe religious leaders.
Posted in Dawn, July 3, 2021