By Muslim Mirror Network
NEW DELHI—Established in 2022, Zakat Center India (ZCI) plans to expand its Zakat collection activities in 20 cities and towns all over India from the current financial year. Last year, it operated in 10 cities.
A registered body, ZCI has been promoted by the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, a premier socio-cultural organization of Indian Muslims.
The basic objective of the Centre is to make a poverty-free and self-reliant Muslim community. Payment of Zakat, which is 2.5 percent of the annual savings, has to be paid compulsorily by every Muslim who meets certain economic criteria. The Zakat collections have to be spent on various heads including poverty alleviation programmes.
Addressing media persons here on Sunday, ZCI chairman S. Ameenul Hasan said that ZCI collected Rs. 2 crores last year and it’s expected to collect about Rs. 20 crores this year.
In response to media questions, he said that the money collected through Zakat is to be used on consumptive expenditure and productive expenditure like livelihood generation programmes. ZCI spent the Zakat money on livelihood projects, skill development, and educational programmes.
Mr. Ameenul Hasan said the main objective of the ZCI was to use Zakat money for alleviating the economic conditions of Muslims who were among the poorest of the poor in the country. Quoting from various studies, he said that per capita daily consumption of Indian Muslims was Rs. 32.66, indicating the stark poverty among them.
Unlike other organizations involved in the collective system of Zakat collection, he said ZCI spent the money among poor Muslims in the area from where the Zakat was collected.
He clarified that his organization collected Zakat from Indian Muslims only in ZCI’s Indian Bank accounts and did not accept foreign Zakat donations.
He said that there was no scientific data available about the amount of Zakat paid by Indian Muslims annually. However, he said that the amount of the Zakat levy paid by Muslims in India was quite substantial.
ZCI secretary Abdul Jabbar Siddiqui said that ZCI, in its first year of establishment, supported more than 1000 needy persons in livelihood projects and more than 500 people in skill development and education.