SA passes Sindh Zakat and Ushr Bill 2011

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly (SA), which met here on Monday with Deputy Speaker Syeda Shehla Raza in the chair, unanimously passed the Sindh Zakat and Ushr Bill 2011 with amendments proposed by a lawmaker from the National Peoples Party (NPP).Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Mohammad Ayaz Soomro presented the bill in the assembly session with permission of the chair. He informed the house that after the 18th Amendment in the Constitution of Pakistan, the concurrent list stands abolished and inter-alia the Zakat and Ushr have been devolved to the provinces.To ensure effective assessment, collection and disbursement of Zakat and Ushr in the province, Soomro said it was expedient to enact a law at the provincial level and repeal the provisions of the federal law relating to the Sindh province.According to the bill, he said, “This new law may be called the Sindh Zakat and Ushr Act 2011 which extends to the entire Sindh province.”

“The assessment, collection and disbursement of Zakat and Ushr will apply only to Muslim citizens of the province and company or other association of persons, or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not, majority of shares of which is owned or the beneficial ownership of which is held by such citizen and in respect of a person who may believe that the whole or any part of the recoveries effected from him in the manner laid down in the ‘Act’ are not according to his belief, such recoveries shall nevertheless be made, but shall be deemed to the contribution to Zakat Fund on the part of that person,” the bill said.

The government shall, by notification in the official gazette, would establish a Sindh Zakat Council to exercise general superintendence and control over matters relating to Zakat and Ushr, particularly the Zakat funds in the province and the maintenance of their accounts in accordance with the policy guidelines given by the council.During the clause-by-clause approval of the bill, the National Peoples Party’s lawmaker, Arif Mustafa Jatoi submitted five amendments in the bill. Jatoi also suggested amendment in the section No 3 of the bill that word collector be substituted with word EDO Revenue. Law minister opposed the amendment but the house with support of treasury benches approved it.Jatoi suggested one more amendment regarding deleting of a clause in sub-section of XXIV, which was approved by the members. Later, the house unanimously passed the bill – Dailytimes