President Joko Widodo or Jokowi along with the head of state institutions, ministers, members of Working Cabinet paid zakat or alms through the National Zakat Agency (Baznas) in State Palace, Jakarta, Thursday, May 16.
The President handed over Rp55 million zakat, increased from that of last year’s Rp50 million. “Alhamdulillah, zakat collection and distribution that have been conducted by Baznas since 2016 in the Palace has going routine, and this will be a pillar to strengthen sharia economy,” he remarked.
The President said that zakat is fundamental to boost economic growth, alleviate poverty, support people welfare, and push Indonesia to be the world’s sharia economy center. According to Jokowi, the potential of zakat in the country is quite high at Rp232 trillion. Yet, the agency only collected Rp8.1 trillion thus far.
Even so, Jokowi expressed his appreciation that the average hike of national zakat amounted to 26.64 percent and hoped such high growth will be a leap for the growth of zakat collection and distribution in the archipelago.
Baznas chairman Bambang Soedibyo said that regional heads, regional working units (SKPD), and regional-owned enterprises higher-ups also paid their zakat today during the zakat delivery program that is established simultaneously in coordination with the regional agency.
According to Bambang, zakat has further helped to alleviate poverty by increasing the income of mustahiq (people who deserve to receive zakat) by 97.88 percent on average.
Based on the Baznas strategic study center (Puskas) concerning the effectivity of zakat distribution and use in 2018, the agency programs significantly succeeded to improve the economic prosperity, spiritual, education, health, and economic independence of mustahiq.
“As referred to the BPS’ poverty rate in 2018, Baznas is able to enhance 28 percent income of mustahiq through its empowerment programs,” Bambang concluded.