Srinagar: The J&K Waqf Board Sunday announced a hike of 30 percent to the remuneration of Imams, Khateebs, and Muazzins performing their duties at the shrines and Masjids directly administered by the J&K Waqf Board.
A spokesman of the J&K Waqf Board in a statement issued here said that the decision in this regard was taken after a meeting of Imams and Khateebs that was chaired by J&K Waqf Board Chairperson Darakhshan Andrabi here.
Andrabi also announced that J&K Waqf Board would provide adequate accommodation facilities to the Imams and Khateebs who were posted at places far off from their home.
Announcing other initiatives taken in this direction, she said, “Relief assistance of up to Rs 1 lakh would be provided to them in case of natural calamity leading to house damage, disease, or accidents requiring hospitalisation.”
Andrabi said that a provision of library facilities for Imams and Khateebs would be kept where religious literature would be made available so that they would not need to purchase it at their own level.
She said that the J&K Waqf Board would bear the cost of electricity and water bills of their accommodations.
Andrabi said that contrary to the past practice, no Imam, Khateeb, or Muazzin would be removed from his position on the complaint of locals, unless charges are proved after proper enquiry.
She said that on the demands of the Imams and Khateebs, J&K Waqf Board would organise frequent training programmes by roping in noted religious scholars.
Andrabi said that bringing an end to the past practice, they would be entitled to remuneration during the leave period as well.
In the past, they were not being paid for the leave period.
She said that a committee would be constituted that would have two members from amongst the Imams and Khateebs to look into the issues of rationalisation and transfers.
Andrabi said that Imams and Khateebs would have to be consulted by the administrators of shrines and Masjids in decisions regarding religious activities.
Meanwhile during the meeting, the Imams and Khateebs were to ensure that all shrines and Masjids under the J&K Waqf Board offer 20-Rakat Taravih prayers with Khatm-e-Quran during Ramadan.
They were also requested to organise Nazool-e-Quran and other such conferences on special occasions.
The Khateebs were also urged to ensure strict adherence to the timings publicised for the information of the public.
“The decisions have been taken in line with the reformative agenda initiated by the J&K Waqf Board with the intention of restoring the status and dignity of Imams and Khateebs as envisaged through the teachings of Quran and Hadith,” the J&K Waqf Board spokesman said.