JAMMU, JANUARY 30: Chairman Legislative Council Haji Anayat Ali today said that a house committee would be constituted to recommend measures for optimum utilization of Wakaf assets and to look into the complaints regarding the misuse of Wakaf land.
The chairman was intervening during the reply to a question by Dr Shehnaz Ganai regarding Wakaf land, which evoked a debate in the house.
Earlier, the Minister of State for Hajj and Auqaf Syed Farooq Ahmad Andrabi in reply to the main question informed the house that 2509.02 Kanal of Wakaf land is under occupation of various departments/agencies and individuals in the state.
The Minister informed that no rent is being paid to Auqaf Islamia Poonch for the land under occupation of different agencies except for two sites of 21.12 Kanals situated at Jhullas village and Poonch city.
The Minister said that the process for retrieval of Wakaf properties has been initiated. "The matter has been taken up with the Home Department, as well as various other concerned departments for vacation of the Wakaf properties under their occupation," he assured.
He said the occupants have also been directed to pay the rent regularly. He said necessary proceedings under the Wakaf Act 2001 have been initiated to retrieve the property held by individuals.
The Minister informed that Wakaf land, recently retrieved at Gandhi Nagar Jammu is temporarily being used as a parking lot as well as for holding exhibitions and trade fairs and the site is expected to generate approximately Rs 40 lakh during the current financial year. He said the state Wakaf Council has taken up the matter for the remaining land at Gandhi Nagar with the occupants for negotiation to bring them in Wakaf fold on case to case basis.
The Minister said that Auqaf Department has initiated a number of schemes for the welfare of the community especially for poor and downtrodden sections of the society. He said three nursing institutes at Jammu, Rajouri and Kishtwar have been set up while as Boys Hostel near GGM Science College has been established.
Andrabi said that Auqaf is also providing scholarships and pension to widows, orphans besides honorarium to Imams, Moazzins and Chowkidars of graveyards. He said an amount of Rs 8.50 lakh is also being provided annually to the needy patients of remote areas.
The Minister said the State Wakaf Council has decided to establish three Nursing Institutes, Modern Level Schools and Hostel facility in order to provide better education to the students of poor and downtrodden sections on highly affordable rates. He said some seats in these institutes have also been earmarked for the poor meritorious students.
The Minister said that the Wakaf Board as well as Wakaf Council are being administered by separate legislation and in order to merge both the institutions, combined legislation is required.
Legislators Yasir Reshi, Sajjad Kichloo, Saif-ud-Din and other members raised the supplementary question to the main question.