During holy month of Ramazan, Muslims across the world spend their time fasting, praying, giving back to the community and introspecting. Ramazan is the most auspicious time of the year and is observed with full enthusiasm through the Muslim community globally. Ramazan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and holds greater significance as it is the first time when Allah SWT (God) revealed the Quran to holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The fasting during this month is considered as one of the 5-pillars of Islam. According to the Economic Survey FY2020 of Pakistan the subject of Zakat was devolved to the provinces and federal areas following the 18th Constitutional amendment. The federal government is responsible for the collection of Zakat and its distribution to the provinces/federal areas in accordance with the Zakat distribution formula approved by the Council of Common Interests (CCI). A total amount of Rs 9,256.66 million was collected during FY2019 and distributed during FY2020. Presently the government of Pakistan proclaimed the Nisab of Zakat in the country, as Ramazan approaches. Zakat is no doubt obligatory on each and every Muslim who is in possession of wealth and income that is equal to or greater than the Nisab limit. Each Muslim, if they want to find out if Zakat is obligatory on them, therefore, has to calculate their own Zakatable net-worth (ZNW).
|Pakistan: Disbursement Of Zakat (Rs million)|
|Federal Areas/ Provinces||% Share||Allocated/Released Budget 2019-20|
|Federal Areas||7% of total Zakat Collection is distributed amongst federal Areas|
|ICT||35.14% of 7%||227.70|
|Gilgit-Baltistan||18.57 % of 7%||120.33|
|FATA||46.29 % of 7%||299.94|
|Provincial||Share of provinces after deduction of above federal payments|
|Punjab||57.36 % of 93 %||4,937.94|
|Sindh||23.71 % of 93 %||2,041.12|
|Khyber Pakhtunkhwa||13.82% of 93 %||1,189.72|
|Balochistan||5.11 % of 93 %||439.90|
According to a notification issued through the administrator-general Zakat for the lunar year 1441-42 Hijri, people sustaining a minimum Rs 80, 933 balance amount in savings, profit and loss sharing, or same bank accounts on the first day of Ramazan will be liable to pay 2.5 percent Zakat on the total balance. Nisab is a fixed amount of money that a person must have, after the deduction of necessary expenses, in his/her account to be eligible to pay the tax. It is important to note that most Pakistanis prefer to pay their Zakat – the obligatory Muslim charity tax – during Ramazan, expecting more rewards from Allah. In Pakistan it is mandated and collected through the Government of Pakistan. Apart from assisting the less fortunate, Zakat also helps charities run their operations throughout the year. These organizations assist stem the economic burden on low-income groups. These organizations mostly focus on the remote regions and people who have been affected though present pandemic COVID-19. Charity is hardwired in the blood of Pakistanis. Almost every Pakistani, in one way or the other donates something. Despite a surge in COVID-19 scenarios and growing inflation, grocery stores and supermarkets in Pakistan, the country’s commercial capital, are overcrowded with customers ahead of this holy month. Neatly wrapped packets and boxes of lentils, flour, rice, cooking oil, tea, spices, beverages, and other food items are arranged in shelves at a sprawling supermarket in the country. Sources said that people are purchasing greater than the usual not only to cope with the extra consumption, but to distribute among the less fortunate, or those who have been unemployed because of economic slowdown aided through this prevailing pandemic. Statistics show that the downturn has mainly impacted those below poverty line about 25 percent of Pakistan’s 210 million citizens. Ramazan is the perfect time to assist others and sources also recorded that double the rations are being distributed as compared to the last year because of the growing demand.
In Pakistan, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) released latest guidelines to curb the spread of this pandemic ahead during Ramazan. NCOC planned to implement broader lockdowns, with stringent enforcement protocols where no mobility will be permitted, except in emergency conditions. Keeping in view the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Pakistan, all indoor and outdoor activities, counting social, cultural, political, sports, and other miscellaneous events, will be banned. Outdoor dining will be allowed from Iftar till midnight with strict SOPs, while takeaways will be permitted. Saturdays and Sundays will be observed as closed days at the nationwide level. In addition, the coronavirus monitoring body planned to ban inter-provincial transport on two closed days (Saturdays and Sundays). NCOC also proclaimed to continue with the 50 percent work from home policy for all public and private offices, where intercity public transport is to operate at 50 percent of capacity.