LAHORE: The Punjab government, under directions of the prime minister, has devised a plan to utilise around 75,000 acres of the Auqaf Department and the proceeds would be used for the betterment of the public.

Presiding over the first meeting of the committee on use of land of the Auqaf Department at Civil Secretariat on Tuesday, Provincial Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Social Welfare Raja Basharat said the plan was already under way and would help improve lot of people.

The secretary Auqaf told the meeting that there were 546 shrines and 437 mosques of the department in the province. The total ownership of Punjab Auqaf is 75,000 acre out of which 45,000 acre are uncultivated. Besides, 1,426 residences and 6,179 shops were rented out, while more than 10,000 acre were under illegal occupation, he said.

Mr Basharat told the meeting that the land would be leased out in a transparent manner. He directed the department to prepare an effective business plan for increasing income and conduct a detailed audit of the Auqaf properties spread across the province.

Provincial Minister Auqaf Syed Saeedul Hassan, Secretary Auqaf, Member Board of Revenue, officers from Finance, Housing and Law departments were also present.

Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2019