Mandatory Zakat for companies could help support country’s needy
A proposal to make Zakat compulsory by law for all commercial sectors was discussed at a recently held Central Municipal Council session. According to Director of Zakat Services at the Zakat Fund, Dr. Mohamed Khalifa al-Kubaisi, the proposal, if granted, could generate an annual revenue of QR4bn. This could easily support those in heavy debts and other residents with financial constraints.
The Zakat Fund currently supports about 17,000 families. While these figures mainly include low-income expatriates, the nationals constituting a smaller fraction comprise those in heavy debts. To calculate the eligibility standards, the total income of the family members is divided according to the number of individuals; the standards are different for Qataris and non-Qataris.
For nationals, the monthly allowance per member should be QR2,000-2,500 or below to be eligible for support. While for expats, the allowance should be QR1000-1,500 or below.
According to figures from Zakat Fund, the number of companies contributing to zakat has increased from 25 in 2005 to 140 in 2013. With the population steadily on the rise, the organisation is seeking help from members in the community to promote the practice of Zakat – an act of giving alms in Islam, according to a report in Gulf Times.