The number of people who paid Zakat (alms for the poor) has declined from 82,570 in 2011 to 80,408 this year, newspaper Haveeru reports.
According to the Islamic Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Mohamed Didi, proceeds from Zakat payments amounted to MVR2.4 million (US$155,642) this year. Didi said the decline was “surprising” as the numbers of people who pray at mosques were steadily rising.
Meanwhile, the number of registered poor in the capital Male’ increased from 10,000 in 2011 to 11,000 this year.
Zakat is one of the five mandatory pillars of Islam. A sum of MVR220 per head was issued by the ministry this year.
Haveeru noted that a considerable number of people paying Zakat through means other than the government.