How zakat can reduce poverty

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The government introduced collection and distribution of Zakat at state level in 1981. The ratio of Zakat to GDP is 0.3 to 0.4 per cent. Some major reasons for its smaller size and decline are: mistrust of the people as regards its mode and machinery of disbursement, corruption in the process and in government ranks, ineffective mechanism of accountability, politicised organisational structure and traditional interpretation of the text of the Sunnah that defines zakatable assets and property.
In order to increase Zakat collection, it is required to foster wider awareness among the people about the proper perspective and role of Zakat. The potential role of Zakat in minimizing poverty depends on the size of GDP. Therefore, the higher authorities should plan strategies that would focus on decreasing the number of poor citizen
This can be done by building their capacity and increasing the Zakat revenues to provide decent income support to all unproductive segments of the population. Zakat will fight poverty if it is used for capacity building, wealth creation, income support and rehabilitation programmes. I appeal to higher authorities to give this idea some thought so that we can prosper as an equal citizen of this country.
HIBA ZAHID
Karachi