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Morality of Poverty Reduction in Islam: zakats effect on poverty in Pakistan, 1980-1994.

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Presentation on theme: "Morality of Poverty Reduction in Islam: zakats effect on poverty in Pakistan, 1980-1994."— Presentation transcript:

1 Morality of Poverty Reduction in Islam: zakats effect on poverty in Pakistan,

2 What is Zakat? One of the fundamentals of Islams belief structure and, consequently, is one of the most important religious duties in Islam Considered as the right of the poor people to the wealth of the rich and is to assure the basic necessities of life for those who cannot undertake gainful employment or otherwise deserve societys help and assistance Zakat is to be utilised for alleviation of poverty by disbursing it to the poor, widows, orphans and the handicapped eligible to receive it. Thus it lays down the ground for the Islamic social security system Zakat is a redistributive and an obligatory tax levied at 2.5% per annum on the net wealth of Muslims including minors and orphans who possess wealth above a certain exemption level known as nisab

3 Imposition of Zakat in Pakistan Soon after coming to power in 1977, General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq announced the Islamisation of Pakistan to be his prime objective On 10 February 1979, President Zia-ul-Haq addressed the nation on The Introduction of the Islamic System in Pakistan, at the National Assembly Hall in Islamabad, and selected zakat (one of the five fundamentals of the Islamic faith) as the beginning of the Islamisation process The formal institutionalisation of zakat took place under the Zakat and Ushr Ordinance 1980, No. XVIII on 20 June 1980 With the passing of the Ordinance a Zakat Fund was created with the amount of Rs.2250 million The zakat system of taxation was parallel to the federal fiscal system and thus its revenue and expenditure were not part of the secular budget

4 Assertions regarding Zakat Theological: Islamic state would instrumentalise zakat in a way that would eliminate destitution and poverty in the Islamic society, and break the association between the rich and the powerful Islamists also affirm that zakat has major potential for mobilising resources in favour of poverty reduction Official (as in Pakistan): Address to the nation on 10 February 1979, General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq pointed out: zakat is one of the most important pillars of Islam and related to the economic and welfare aspects of the society narrow the gap between the rich and the poor and look after the indigent and the destitute

5 Charging Zakat Zakat was deducted on a compulsory basis on savings held in banks or other financial institutions the value of which was equivalent to grams of silver, at the rate of 2.5% from the accounts of the Muslim citizens and private companies, corporations and enterprises of Pakistan of which the majority shareholders were Muslims (excluding religious schools, mosques and orphanages) on the first of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Islamic calendar) The assets subject to the compulsory levy of zakat were categorised in two schedules, the First and the Second. Schedule I included assets held by financial institutions on which zakat was deducted on a compulsory basis and Schedule II included assets on which zakat was levied but its payment was left to the discretion of the individual holding the asset

6 First Schedule The assets subject to zakat for credit to the Central Zakat Fund were: Saving Bank Accounts with banks operating in Pakistan Savings Deposit Certificates, e.g. Defence Savings Certificates, National Deposit Certificates Units of National Investments ICP (Investment Corporation of Pakistan) Mutual Funds Certificates, Government Securities Securities including shares and debentures of statutory companies or corporations Annuities Life Insurance Policies Provident Funds

7 Second Schedule The assets subject to the levy of zakat included: Gold and silver items at 2.5% of the market value on the Valuation Date cash at 2.5% of the amount Current accounts foreign currency accounts



10 Aim of this Presentation To assess the impact that zakat had on poverty in Pakistan keeping the theological assertions and the official objectives of zakat in mind The study uses poverty measures such as the headcount (Hc) and poverty gap (Pg) approach Headcount= Where q is the number of households below the poverty line and n is the total number of households. This measure gives the proportion of the poor households among the total households Poverty gap= Where N is the number of households below the poverty line, y is the adult equivalised income for households and pl is the poverty line. The poverty gap thus measures an average percentage of how far people fall below the poverty line

11 Previous work on the impact of zakat on poverty Shirazis study attempts to estimate the impact of zakat and ushr on household poverty alleviation He uses the Household Integrated Economic Survey (HIES) for two years: and Shirazi uses the Poverty Headcount and Poverty Gap approach He concludes that the impact was not that significant, but he does assert that zakat and ushr accounted for 39% of the average disposable income of the lowest income decile, which he applauded as extremely encouraging and evidence that zakat was targeting the right group

12 Data Used The Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) for the 1980s and the Household Integrated Economic Survey (HIES) for the 1990s is used

13 Sizes of the different surveys

14 The subset of variables taken from the HIES database include household income zakat given and received household composition in terms of number of earners, and ages of the household members

15 Equivalent scale used Wasey (1997) and Havinga (1989) scale This scale assigns the weight of 1 to the earning adult of the household represented by x1, 0.8 to non-earning adults represented by x2, and 0.7 to children under 10 years represented by x3 The application of this scale is as follows: AE=x1+0.8* x2+0.7* x3

16 Data Limitations Households dependent entirely on charity are excluded from the scope of the surveys Illiteracy of the population in general and particularly in rural areas is another issue that hampers the quality of the survey Household income and expenditure accounts are not kept by the households and there is a wide variation in the mode of the purchase of consumption goods from area to area, even from household to household Many statements of expenditure may be incorrect because of memory bias due to the long reference period for certain items

17 Data Limitations Contd. Income

18 Pakistans Household Income Distribution Income distribution in Pakistan is typical of a less developed country


20 Poverty Line used A Havinga et al adult equivalised poverty line of Rs.214 per month based on the calorific intake approach

21 Pakistan Poverty Statistics without Zakat based on the HIESs



24 Data Limitations Contd. Compulsory Zakat and Voluntary Zakat (paid to the Govt.) Head of Zakat includes: For the 1980s survey zakat, gifts and assistance, ushr, nazrana (charity), and philanthropy For 1990s survey nazrana, zakat, ushr, assistance, inheritance, and gifts



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