There is a story where once a rich business owner asked his assistant to calculate his Zakat. The assistant did so and told him the Zakat value. The rich business owner laughed and said I could establish another factory in this much money why would I pay so much Zakat ?
Imagine the amount of Zakat due. Imagine if that much was paid properly to the deserving. Imagine the reduction in poverty if it was paid.
This is the cause of poverty in Pakistan.
At ConceptPaper.org we feel a proper Sharia based Zakat system would end poverty in Pakistan. Many rich people in Pakistan simply don’t pay Zakat. While there are no statistics available but from the looks of it a lot of the very rich people might not be paying Zakat.
In addition Zakat is unmanaged and disbursement is unmanaged. If the poor people had a place to go to asking for Zakat they would go to it. If the government was properly managing distribution of Zakat the poor would go there. If the poor were told about the Zakat system and it was managed it would help their needs and they would be less poor.
So there is a two way problem. Not only are there rich people not paying due Zakat but there are also poor people not getting Zakat. Both ends are not looked after because of a lack of state involvement. This is causing poverty in Pakistan.
At ConceptPaper.org we feel the government in Pakistan should enforce Zakat collection from the rich and they should facilitate Zakat disbursement in the poor. There is enough electronic banking and enough data collection in Pakistan to make both easy. We feel this is fundamental to government function and it is the only mechanism which could end poverty in Pakistan.
Alot of people are buying plots of land with intent to sell after increase in value. This is something which makes the plot a trade item and Zakat becomes due on it. But the government is not enforcing this Zakat and is not managing the Zakat.
Alot of shops have very expensive items for sale in Pakistan. These are subject to Zakat as well. In factories a lot of items are being made. Raw materials and goods produced for sale are also subject to Zakat.
Imagine if plots of land, shop items and factory items all had Zakat paid on them. Would there be poverty in Pakistan ? Ordinary shopkeepers would stop keeping expensive items and rich shops would have to pay due Zakat.
The only reason there is poverty in Pakistan is because much Zakat is not paid and all of it is not managed properly.
Islamic wealth distribution is a fundamental right of citizens. This should be the defining vote item for the poor in Pakistan. The next item on debate in elections should be a proper forceful Zakat system. Whichever party brings forward a good Zakat system should win the poor peoples votes.