Baitulmal, A Tool for Poverty Alleviation, A Myth or Reality

 Media Campaign for FSP

PBM is running a comprehensive and effective media campaign for awareness of the beneficiaries and general public through the following means:

  • Electronic media through public service messages and news morning program.
  • Print media through advertisements and press releases.
  • Involvement of District Governments.
  • Announcements on Mosques loudspeakers.
  • Issuance of intimation letters.
  • Pasting of posters

FUTURE PROJECTS OF BAIT-UL-MAL

  • Scale-up of Orphanage Centres. (Sweet Pakistan Homes)
  • Provision of Lungar at each District Headquarter Hospital
  • Medical Centers for Hepatitis-C (MCH-C)
  • Scale-up of CSP up to 144 Districts
  • Establishment of ten Senior Citizen Homes (five each for men & women) two in each Province/Islamabad named as “Pakistan Homes”.

Conclusion

Pakistan Bait-ul-mal provides financial assistance to the destitute, widows, orphans, individuals, educational assistance to the outstanding non-affording students for higher professional education, free medical treatment for indignant sick people, and financial aid to the charitable institution including educational and vocational setup. The government of Pakistan is focusing more on other programs like Benazir Income Support Programme being politically motivated and Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal has been ignored for the last few years.  Bait-ul-mal, in spite of difficulties and problems, is an effective tool for poverty alleviation from our society.

Problems associated with Bait-ul-mal

  1. The process of getting aid from Bait-ul-mal is very lengthy and cumbersome. If a poor man applies for financial aid, his application is forwarded to the concerned District office. The district office takes a long time to verify whether the applicant is really a needy person or otherwise. After the verification, the application comes to the head office for sanction of financial aid.
  2. If a poor person needs financial help for medical treatment, he has to get himself medically examined from any government hospital which is a very cumbersome process. If the applicant has no personal contacts in the hospital, it is not possible for a common man to get an estimate of his medical treatment. After the process of estimation of disease, the matter is referred to the District Officer for further verification of the applicant.
  3. The amount given by Bait-ul-mal to the poor people on account of Individual Financial Assistance (IFA) is very meager. If a poor man is granted 20000/- to 30000/- this amount is too small to set up a small source of income for the livelihood of a poor family. In this way, the Bait-ul-mal is creating more and more beggars in our society. This amount is required to be enhanced.
  4. There is great political influence in granting aid. If a poor person has some political influence, he can get financial aid immediately without passing through the process of verification. During my visits to the headquarter of Pakistan Bait-ul-mal, Islamabad I conducted interviews of many applicants who were really deserving but were unable to get financial assistance due to lack of political resources.
  5. Bait-ul-mal has established the National Center for Reduction of Child labor (NCRCL) but the amount given to the student is too small. Normally Rs. 10/- per day per student is given to such children. Even if such children come out of NCRCL, they may earn much more than the amount given to these children by Bait-ul-mal.
  6. The present government of Pakistan has started programs that are parallel to the Bait-ul-mal which envisages more political motivation. If proper attention is paid to this project, this may prove a more powerful tool in poverty alleviation from our society.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING THE PERFORMANCE OF BAIT-UL-MAL

  1. The time limit may be fixed for processing the requests for financial assistance, especially in cases of Individual Financial Assistance.
  2. Financial aid in cases of Individual Financial Assistance and aid being given to the children at the National Center for Reduction of Child labor needs to be revised so that the beneficiary can get the benefit out of it instead of making such individuals as beggars.
  3. There is a strong need for community mobilization on a large scale. The community should be kept well informed about the aid being provided to the poor and needy persons. For this purpose, vibrant media can be used.
  4. Efforts should be made to depoliticize the operations of Pakistan bait-ul-Mal. To achieve this goal, appointment at the highest should be based on merit instead of on political grounds.
  5. Different Institutions whose functions are overlapping should be merged into one entity.
  6. The employees of Pakistan Bait-ul-mal are not a civil servants. They are, therefore, least concerned for the improvement of the institution. I met a number of officers who were employed more than 20 years ago are still serving in BS-17. There is a need for proper career planning in Bait-ul-mal for the satisfaction of the employees of the institution.

 

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