More than 50,800 people across the country are eligible for Zakat (alms for the poor) this year, the Islamic ministry has revealed.
Zakat is an obligatory alms tax collected from the accumulated wealth of all able Muslims.
Deputy minister for Islamic affairs Dr Aishath Muneeza told the press on Monday that more than 13,000 people in Malé and 37,800 people in other islands are registered as poor.
Muneeza said the ministry plans to distribute MVR20 million (US$1.2 million) before Ramadan at a rate of MVR400 (US$26) per person, noting that the sum was the highest so far.
The ministry collected a record MVR52 million (US$3.3 million) as property Zakat last year. The registered number of poor in 2014 was more than 53,000.
Muneeza noted that Zakat payments can also be made through Dhiraagu and Ooreedoo.
Newly appointed Islamic minister Dr Ahmed Ziyad said at the press conference that renovation work on several mosques across the country will begin next week with a target of completion before Ramadan.