The income of the Punjab Auqaf Department went up by 16.62% during July 2019-February 2020, an official source within the department revealed.

The source further confirmed an increase in the department’s income during the financial year 2018-19 by 18.26% compared to the previous fiscal year.

He said that a policy had been formulated to monitor the income from cash boxes of the Auqaf and Religious Affairs department, adding that during the year 2018-19 the initiative helped in increasing the annual income from the cash boxes up to Rs70 million.

“Construction schemes of four Quran Mahals have been completed in Lahore-I, Sahiwal, Gujrat and Bhalwal, while the construction of five more Quran Mahals is ongoing in Rawalpindi, Multan, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur and Lahore II.”

He also said that at least 28 schemes related to mosques and shrines have been completed by the department since 2018.

A first aid centre was also set up in Darbar Data Gunj Bakhsh to facilitate visitors, he pointed out.

The department has now started to use advanced technology to eliminate corruption, prevent staff discrepancies and address complaints regarding donation boxes at the shrines.

The boxes are being digitised and will be monitored by the Auqaf department’s central office. According to sources, an amount of Rs10 million has been proposed for automation of the money/ donation boxes at all the shrines.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2020.

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