The Jakarta Post
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said that Indonesia needs to spread knowledge about the sharia economy to the public so the country with the world’s largest Muslim population could unearth the great potential of its Islamic economy.
The great potential of zakat mal (Islamic wealth and income taxes), for example, had not be collected optimally because the conventional understanding of wealth among Muslims was that it referred only to gold and silver, agriculture, livestock and mining resources, she added
“Such an understanding is not entirely wrong because most wealth was in those forms [during Prophet Muhammad's era], but currently wealth can be in the form of stocks, bonds and wages or salary,” Sri Mulyani said at the annual Islamic Finance Conference in Yogyakarta on Wednesday.
“If those kinds of wealth also become the target of zakat, the funds collected from zakat will increase,” she said, adding that most of Indonesian Muslims only paid zakat fitrah (alm paid in the end of Ramadhan), but did not pay zakat mal.
According to the National Zakat Agency (Baznas), the potential of zakat in Indonesia reaches around Rp 217 trillion (US$16.25 billion).
Sri Mulyani said the figure was equal to 10 percent of the state budget. "Unfortunately only less than 2 percent of that potential has been collected and Baznas only receives around half of the collected fund," She said.
However, the Finance Ministry's fiscal policy head Suahasil Nazara said Indonesia needed more experts on the sharia economy to educate people about the issue. (bbn)