Zakat funds should be collected centrally and then dispensed through social safety net programmes to alleviate poverty, speakers said at a seminar yesterday.
“A centralised zakat collection system could raise as much as Tk 200 billion, which could then be used properly to fulfil the purpose of zakat, which is eliminate poverty,” said Mohammad Sabur Khan, president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), citing a 2011 study of ex-Bangladesh Bank executive director Abdur Raquib.
This is approximately two percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), he added.
“If everyone pays their zakat dues, the collected amount could total up to 4.3 percent of the GDP,” said Dr Mohammad Ayub Miah, chief executive officer of the Centre for Zakat Management (CZM).
The zakat funds raised are below the potential because there is a lack of awareness about the methods to calculate how much zakat a person should pay, the speakers observed at the event organised by DCCI and CZM on DCCI premises in the capital.
“We have to start thinking about how zakat can make the maximum impact, since the responsibility does not end in just giving it,” said Sabur Khan.
(The Daily Star / 30 July 2013)
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