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‘Meaningful use of Zakat funds could create 10m jobs in Pakistan’

Lahore

May 15, 2020

LAHORE:President Minhaj-ul-Quran International Dr Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri has claimed that Pakistan can create at least 10.5 million employment opportunities within five years by meaningful use of Zakat funds.

“By changing the non-transparent Zakat distribution system and giving away the funds as loan in the form of merchandise through Small and Medium Enterprise Authority (Smeda) to the needy people may work wonders and offer employment to over 10.5 million jobless people within a span of five years,” he said while addressing an international economic conference held online on Thursday.

Economic and banking experts from the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman attended the moot organised by the Accounting & Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), Bahrain; Minhaj University Lahore; Islamic Research & Training Institute, Jeddah; and College of Banking and Financial Studies, Oman.

Mufti Taqi Usmani, chairman of AAOIFI Shariah board, and Shaikh Ebrahim Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, chairman of AAOIFI Board of Trustees presented keynote addresses as the conference discussed and suggested solutions to the economic crisis caused in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic across the globe.

Dr Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri, speaking on “Zakat and Microfinance: A Novel Way towards Alleviation of Poverty in Pakistan”, said Zakat collectibles can be used for the provision of interest-free loans to the Zakat recipients with the focus on unemployed people.

“They will come out of the poverty circle and become Zakat givers rather than recipients,” he said. Dr Qadri, who is also deputy chairman of Minhaj University’s board of directors, emphasised that the government should take robust steps to regain trust of the public so the Zakat collectibles could be increased to their potential numbers. At three different sessions of the conference, the participants called for restructuring Islamic financial modes to cope with challenges faced the industry due to COVID-19 and that Islamic finance industry should adopt the risk sharing model rather debt based model.

They also noted that Zakat has great potential to alleviate poverty and its power can be harnessed by linking it with Islamic microfinance, while Waqf is another Islamic social finance tool that has proven an effective way of serving the community. The speakers were of the opinion that Blockchain, artificial intelligence are future technologies. Fintech solutions provide enormous opportunities for Islamic finance industry to take the competitive advantage. Crowd-funding has also proven very fruitful model and through this model more people can come into the ambit of financial stream. They asserted that financial inclusion can be promoted through Fintech solutions.