To fight the blight of poverty
The Zakat Fund Management Bill-2023 was passed in parliament yesterday, aiming to make zakat (obligatory charity in Islam) an important tool to eradicate poverty in the country.
The proposed bill also aims to enable zakat receivers to adopt any profession and make them self-reliant.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Md Faridul Haque Khan placed the bill which was passed by voice vote.
The proposed "Zakat Fund Management Act, 2023" will replace the Zakat Fund Ordinance, 1982.
The bill said there will be a "Zakat Board" of 13 members. The religious affairs minister or the state minister will be the chairman of the board.
Secretary of the religious affairs ministry, an official from the ministry of the minimum rank of a joint secretary, an official of the finance ministry of the minimum rank of a joint secretary, an official of the minimum rank of a joint secretary from the legislative and parliamentary affairs division, five eminent Islamic scholars selected by the government, two representatives from the country's trade-body organisation, and the director general of Islamic Foundation will be the other members of the committee.
The committee's tenure will be of three years and it will hold at least two meetings every year.
The voluntary zakat contribution of eligible Muslims will be accumulated in the zakat fund, which will be kept in non-interest-bearing accounts of government-scheduled banks. After the law is enacted, anyone from home and abroad will be able to contribute to the fund through any such scheduled bank.
Although the zakat system has been in operation at the individual level for a long time in this country, the desired benefits were not being obtained from it, according to the objective of the proposed bill.
Therefore, the government formed the zakat board by enacting The Zakat Fund Ordinance, 1982, to properly utilise zakat money to ensure the welfare of destitute Muslims, according to the provisions of Islam.
The Zakat Fund Management Bill-2023 was placed in parliament to repeal the military regime ordinance in line with a verdict of the High Court.