New bill passed to streamline zakat management
The Zakat Fund Management Bill-2023 was passed in parliament today aiming to make zakat (obligatory charity in Islam) an important tool to eradicate poverty in the country.
The proposed bill aims to engage a zakat recipient in a profession, to rehabilitate the person and make them self-reliant.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Md Faridul Haque Khan placed the bill, which was passed by a voice vote.
Now the Zakat Fund Management Act-2023 will replace the Zakat Fund Ordinance, 1982.
The bill stated that there will be a Zakat Board consisting of 13 members, with the minister of religious affairs or the ministry's state minister in the chair.
The other members would include -- the secretary of the religious affairs ministry, an official from the ministry with the minimum post of joint secretary, an official of finance ministry with minimum post with joint secretary, an official with minimum post of joint secretary from the legislative and parliamentary affairs division, government selected five eminent Islamic scholars, two representatives from country's trade body organisation, and the director general of the Islamic Foundation.
Their appointment will be valid for three years and they would hold at least two meetings per year.
A fund to be formed called -- the Zakat Fund -- shall consist of voluntary payment of zakat by Muslims.
After the law is enacted, anyone from home and abroad will be able to give zakat at any government scheduled bank.
The money credited to the fund shall be kept in non-interest bearing accounts of scheduled banks.
The Zakat Fund Management Bill-2023 was placed in parliament in order to repeal the military regime ordinance, in line with a High Court verdict.