Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan has directed the Finance and Auqaf department to work out the modalities for provision of Stipends to Religious Prayer leaders, including Minorities, within one week time after which cheques will be provided to 21,981 Aiama Masajids and 293 Minority prayer leaders.
According to details, Rs 10,000 will be provided on monthly basis to prayer leaders for which Rs 2.67 Billion will be borne by the provincial kitty every year.
While chairing a meeting on provision of monthly stipends to prayer leaders in the province at Chief Minister’s Secretariat, the Chief Minister stated that the present government is committed for the uplift of the weak and downtrodden segment of the society for which every effort is made to materialize the vision of the present government. He stated that previously, religious and prayer leaders were completely ignored with no assistance and ownership of this important institution. He added that the religious institution plays an important role in our culture and the present government will undertake every effort to resolve all their standing issues.
The Chief Minister was informed that the identification of Prayer leaders and provision of monthly stipends will be made through the respective Assistant Commissioners in every district of the province including the merged tribal districts. Furthermore, the funds flow mechanism for disbursement of Financial Assistance has been prepared in consultation with the Accountant General office Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
As per details, the highest number of prayer leaders has been identified in District Peshawar having 2900 leaders followed by Mardan having 2803 leaders and Charsadda having 2273 prayer leaders. The Chief Minister was informed that the data will further be updated once the scheme is operationalized.
The Chief Minister also directed the Auqaf department to undertake stern measures against encroachments on Auqaf lands adding that state of the art commercial markets will be established which will help in generating revenue thereby strengthening the provincial economy.
The meeting was also attended by Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Shahab Ali Shah, Secretary Finance and officials of the Auqaf Department.