Rs163.06m spent on re­pair, main­te­nance of mi­nor­ity wor­ship places

Pakistan Observer - - TWIN CITIES - STAFF REPORTER

IS­LAM­ABAD—Min­istry of Re­li­gious Affairs and In­ter­faith Har­mony has spent Rs 163.06 mil­lion on re­pair and main­te­nance of wor­ship places in last three years from its Mi­nori­ties Wel­fare Fund. Ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial, the Min­istry car­ries out the re­pair/ren­o­va­tion of re­li­gious places of mi­nor­ity through the Mi­nori­ties Wel­fare Fund. Ac­cord­ing to de­tails Rs 61.23 mil­lion had been spent on re­pair and main­te­nance of wor­ship places dur­ing 2013-14, Rs 50.83 mil­lion dur­ing 2014-15 and Rs 51 mil­lion dur­ing the year 2015-16.

He said, mosques in the Is­lam­abad cap­i­tal ter­ri­tory (ICT) are be­ing looked af­ter by Auqaf de­part­ment. As per eigh­teenth amend­ment the pro­tec­tion of wor­ship places is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the min­istry of In­te­rior and re­spec­tive provin­cial gov­ern­ments.

The min­istry has en­hanced rates of mi­nor­ity wel­fare fund to help im­prov­ing mi­nor­ity’ des­tiny. The min­istry has in­creased fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance of de­serv­ing mi­nori­ties from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. The as­sis­tance is granted to de­serv­ing in­di­vid­u­als once a fi­nan­cial year by min­is­ter, state min­is­ter for re­li­gious affairs and in­ter­faith har­mony and mi­nor­ity leg­is­la­tors from their al­lo­cate share. Widow, or­phan mi­nor­ity girls are be­ing pro­vided mar­riage grant of Rs 50,000 to help meet ex­penses.

Over 8,690 de­serv­ing mi­nor­ity persons had been paid Rs 46.05 mil­lion as fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance in last two and half years. A sum Rs 19.78 mil­lion had been paid to 2,786 mi­nori­ties dur­ing fi­nan­cial year 2013-14, Rs 17.89 mil­lion paid to 4,158 persons and over Rs 8.38 mil­lion has so far dis­trib­uted among 1,746 de­serv­ing mi­nori­ties dur­ing fi­nan­cial year 2015-16. Mean­while, the min­istry has dis­bursed schol­ar­ships worth over Rs 77.49 mil­lion among over 4,893 de­serv­ing mi­nor­ity stu­dents of in last three years.

Like­wise, Rs 20.40 mil­lion schol­ar­ships had been dis­trib­uted among 2,546 de­serv­ing non-Mus­lim stu­dents dur­ing fi­nan­cial year 2013-14. Like­wise, a sum of Rs 57.09 mil­lion had been dis­trib­uted as schol­ar­ships among 2,347 mi­nor­ity stu­dents dur­ing fi­nan­cial year 2014-15.

A sum of Rs 25 mil­lion has been al­lo­cated dur­ing fi­nan­cial year 2015-16 for on­ward dis­tri­bu­tion among the mi­nor­ity stu­dents. Sev­eral ap­pli­ca­tions of schol­ar­ships are un­der process. It mer­its men­tion­ing here that the Re­li­gious Min­istry of­fers schol­ar­ships to or­phans, des­ti­tute, needy and poor mi­nor­ity stu­dents hav­ing good ed­u­ca­tional record from pri­mary to pro­fes­sional lev­els. Ac­cord­ing to the cri­te­ria, the reg­u­lar stu­dents of Hindu, Sikh, Chris­tian, Bud­dhists, and other com­mu­ni­ties, hav­ing at least 50 per­cent marks in their last an­nual ex­am­i­na­tion are el­i­gi­ble for the schol­ar­ships.

Also, the monthly in­come of par­ent/guardian of school level ap­pli­cants must not ex­ceed from Rs 10,000 per month. Like­wise, the in­come of higher classes’ stu­dent par­ents should not cross Rs 20,000 per month. The heads of ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions of the ap­pli­cants has been au­tho­rized to for­ward the ap­pli­ca­tions af­ter check­ing ve­rac­ity of doc­u­ments of the guardian/par­ent of the stu­dent.

Due to ex­treme heat there is hardly any traffic on roads in Rawalpindi.

Per­son­nel of Res­cue 1122 show­ing a 7 feet long snake which they re­cov­ered from a house in Mis­rial.—NNI

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