The Zakat Fund Management Bill -2023 was passed in Parliament on Wednesay, aiming to make Zakat (obligatory charity in Islam) an important tool to eradicate poverty from the country.
As per the proposed Bill, it also aims to engage a zakat receiver in any profession or activity to make the person self-reliant and rehabilitated.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Md Faridul Haque Khan moved the bill and it was passed by voice vote.
The proposed 'Zakat Fund Management Act, 2023' will replace the Zakat Fund Ordinance, 1982.
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The Bill said that there will be a Zakat Board consisting of 13 members. Religious Affairs Minister or State Minister will be the Chairman of that Board. Other members are-the Secretary of the Religious Affairs Ministry, an official from the ministry with minimum joint secretary level, an official of the Finance Ministry with minimum joint secretary level, an official with minimum joint secretary level from the legislative and parliamentary affairs division, government selected five eminent islamic scholars (Fakih), 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 will hold at least two meetings per year.
A fund will be formed called the Zakat Fund which shall consist of voluntary payment of Zakat by the Muslims.
After the law is enacted, anyone from home and abroad will be able to give zakat at any government scheduled bank.
The moneys credited to the Fund shall be kept in non-interest bearing accounts of scheduled banks.
As per the objective of the Bill, Islam is a complete religion and way of life. Zakat is an important provision for the socio-economic welfare and security of people. Allah has made Zakat obligatory upon a compliant Muslim who possesses a Nisab amount of wealth as determined by the Shari'ah.
Zakat is a tool for poverty alleviation and rehabilitation. Zakat is not a voluntary donation, rather Zakat is a fixed portion of the wealth of the rich to be paid to the poor and needy by Allah.
Although 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 zakat due to various reasons.
Poverty was once possible to be eradicated throughout the Muslim world through the system of Zakat.
Therefore, the government formed the Zakat Board by enacting The Zakat Fund Ordinance, 1982 for the purpose of proper utilisation of Zakat and the permanent welfare of the destitute Muslims according to the provisions of Islam.
The Zakat Fund Management Bill -2023 was placed in parliament in order to repeal the military regime ordinance in line with a verdict of the High Court.