Waqf Board Spends More On Vehicles, Less On Needy

Waqf Board Spends More On Vehicles, Less On Needy

16 August 2012
Greater Kashmir
Umer Maqbool

Srinagar: While Waqf Board in Jammu and Kashmir should have been a model institution for rendering financial assistance to the needy and destitute lot of the society, but on the contrary, it has miserably failed to render any such generous help through its Bait-ul-Maal wing. It may sound unbelievable that the financial assistance provided by the Bait-ul-Maal wing of the Board is equal to half of the expenditure incurred on the maintenance and fuel of its vehicles by it during last three years. According to the details available with Greater Kashmir, more than Rs 40 lakh were spent by the Board on account of maintenance and fuel charges of vehicles and ambulances, since 2009-10. Surprisingly, during the same period the contribution of Waqf towards assistance of widows and ailing people has been around Rs 21 lakh. According to the details, Rs 11.13 lakh, Rs 9.07 lakh and Rs 14.46 lakh have been spent by the Board on vehicles respectively in 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 and Rs 6 lakh have been utilized for the same purpose of ambulance fleet in these years. While Rs 3 lakh, Rs 11.66 lakh and Rs 6.48 lakh have been distributed through Bait-ul- Maal wing during these three years as relief. It is pertinent to mention here that Board had purchased four ambulances when bureaucrat-turned-politician Naeem Akthar was its chief executive officer, soon after PDP led government took over the assets of Muslim Auqaf Trust. While ambulances generated decent income for the institution, but officials of the Board, later, converted one of the ambulances into van for their comfort and luxury. The official documents accessed by this newspaper reveal that deserving people seeking financial assistance are turned away by the institution- Waqf Board - looking after Muslim shrines and properties in Valley. “Large numbers of deserving cases who are fit for assistance are not being paid for want of sufficient finances. No policy or programme is in place which would help in maximum donations from public for meeting the requirements of Bait-ul-Maal. As there is mushroom growth of charity organizations and other NGOs who are helping people on large scale, in view of our meager resources we are not able to meet on such welfare, the growing demand of public,” the document reads. But the theory of financial dearth seems to be excuse as the Board is generating more than two million rupees annually from Bank interest and Sadqas alone. In last three years, Waqf Board has earned interest of Rs 81 lakh from its fixed deposits and generated Rs 17 lakh from Sadqas and Zakat, but pays pittance to the needy people. An official wishing anonymity said that being a Muslim majority state, Waqf Board could have taken lead in showing the direction how Bait-ul-Maal could be step up at micro –levels as well as it could have become central Bait-ul-Maal. “But unfortunately due to inefficiency of its hierarchy it has failed to do so,” an official said, alleging that financial assistance via Bait-ul-Maal has been drastically reduced by the Board. “In 2008- 09, Rs 25 lakh were distributed for the said purpose,” he added. VC SPEAK When contacted, vice- chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Waqf Board, MY Qadri said that during his tenure assistance worth Re 42 lakh has been provided to the needy people. “We have increased assistance of widows from Rs 300 to Rs 600, besides we also provide financial help to patients for purchasing medicines,” he said.