Islamic Law observer from Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yulkarnain Harahap, S.H., M.Si., sees that Law No. 23 Year 2011 on Zakat Management needs to be improved.
“Payment for zakat per capita of the Muslims is still low as compared to that of neighbouring countries,” he said on Wednesday (20/1) at Faculty of Law UGM.
Data from National Zakat Agency (BAZNAS) in 2012 recorded zakat revenue totalled 2.3 trillions. The potential of zakat for Indonesia amounts as high as 213 trillion per year. For the Province of Yogyakarta Special Region the amount reaches 5 billion each year, but only realised some 400 millions.
He saw the sanctions for zakat payers who evade the obligations need to be included in the Law on Zakat Management. Currently, not a single paragraph mentioned this issue in the Law.
“The elemental weakness of the Law is that despite the obligatory rule of zakat, no chapters in the Law regulating the sanction. On the other hand, there are sanctions for the people in charge of zakat management who do not perform correctly,” he said in his open doctoral exam at Faculty of Law, defending his dissertation titled Compliance with Zakat Regulation for Zakat Payment and Management in the Province of Yogyakarta Special Region.
In his opinion, the inclusion of sanctions for zakat payers is important to increase people’s compliance as well as awareness that zakat payment is obligatory.
“Paying zakat is not merely a compulsion of the religion, but that a religious compulsion which if not implemented will impact on the loss of right of the disadvantaged people,” said the man.
Yulkarnain added zakat education and socialisation among Muslims need to be intensively conducted. Among others, to encourage zakat payers to pay through the BAZNAZ/LAZ. This is important to do as presently not a few people paying zakat directly to receivers.
“These measures are expected to be able to optimise the role of zakat in improving prosperity and alleviating poverty among people,” he concluded.