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.
Some 10,114 people have registered as poor and eligible for Zakat in the capital Malé at the end of a registration deadline yesterday, local media reports.
According to the Islamic Ministry, more than 53,000 people will be eligible for Zakat in 2014 – an obligatory alms tax collected from the accumulated wealth of all able Muslims.
The number of registered poor rose to 53,200 last year from 50,619 in 2012 – a 4.9 percent increase.
The ministry has said that MVR47 million (US$3 million) was collected last year as Zakat and out of this approximately MVR21.3 million (US$1.3 million) will be distributed to the poor – each person is expected to receive MVR400 (US$26).
More than 9,000 people are registered as poor and eligible for Zakat (alms for the poor) in Addu City this year, according to a statement by the Addu City Council.
The council revealed that the number of registered poor in the southernmost atoll was 9,101 persons out of a population of 31,000.
The Islamic Ministry earmarked MVR 4 million to be distributed as Zakat at a rate of MVR 450 per person in Addu City this year.