By : Harwanto Sastromiharjo
The Institution of amil zakat in formal Legal form in Indonesia is regulated in a law-level regulation since the enactment of Law No.38 of 1999 on the Management of Zakat, and the establishment of Amil Zakat Agency (Badan Amil Zakat/BAZ) and Amil Zakat Institute (Lembaga Amil Zakat/LAZ). Subsequently, in 2011 the regulation was amended by Law No.23 of 2011 on the Management of Zakat, the amanded clause were concerning the change of the name of the organization from BAZ in to Badan Amil Zakat Nasional (Baznas) formed by the government and Amil Zakat Institute (LAZ) formed by community.
With the existence of these two institutions of amil zakat, currently there are several alternatives for Indonesian Muslims to pay zakat, through:
• BAZNAS and its representative offices;
• Mosques and Islamic boarding schools; or
• Direct channeling to Mustahiq (poor people).
However, with the existence of thse two zakat insitutes (Baznas and LAZ) and according to the data on Master Plan of Syariah Finance Architecture made by BAPPENAS, the amount of funds collected for zakat has not yet been encouraging. Although the potential of zakat fund is estimated between Rp11.5 trillion to Rp19.3 trillion, BAZNAS has only managed to collect Rp98.5 billion in 2015.
The gap in collecting zakat could be caused by a combination of several causes, such as: the absence of a comprehensive database containing the total amount of zakat collected from Bazas and LAZ, zakat collected to informal zakat managers (such as mosques, Islamic boarding school, and individual Islamic scholars), or shared directly by muzakki on mustahiq.
Concerning on the Master Plan of Islamic Finance mentioned, there are other factors that could also contribute to the non effective collection of zakat through institutions. The main problem of Baznas is the low trust of Indonesian people who do not view Baznas as the most reliable institution to collect and channel their Zakat. They prefer to pay their zakat directly or through LAZ which they trust because the organizations is local and community-based.
Baznas and LAZ are Financial Institutions
The main function of Baznas and LAZ is to perform the financial intermediation function of collecting funds from the public in the form of zakat, infaq, and sodaqoh derived from the Muzakki and channeling it to the party entitled to receive it, such as he poor and certain parties included in the 8 asnaf determined by sharia.
Therefore it is very appropriate in the Master Plan of Islamic Finance Architecture formulated by Bappenas that the funds of zakat, infaq, and sedekah have been included in the sub-system of Islamic Finance of Indonesia with the name of Social-religious Funds Sector consisted of:- Dana Haji, managed by Ministry of Religious Affairs of Indonesia;- Waqaf, managed by Wakaf Board Indonesia;- Zakat, Infak and Sedekah, managed by Baznas and LAZ.
The soul of the financial intermediary institution is the trust of the community, and without the trust of the community, it is impossible to expect a significant increase collection of zakat fund. Building public trust is not easy and with the institutional structure of amil zakat as it is currently, it cannot be expected to be achieved.
Consistently with the inclusion of Baznas and LAZ as the sub-system of Indonesia`s sharia financials, Baznas and LAZ should be included to be supervised by the Sharia Financial Services Division of the Financial Services Authority (Otoritas Jasa Keuangan/OJK). Thus, the regulatory, fostering, licensing and supervisory functions currently controlled by Baznas and the Ministry of Religious Affairs are transferred to OJK as a more credible and competent financial services authority both for conventional and syaia financial services.
The functions of Baznas and LAZ are synchronized as same as state-owned banks and private banks in Indonesia. They work together as intermediary institutions of Islamic finance that receives zakat, infak, and sedekah from community and distributes it back to the community in accordance with the principles of sharia. Having two institutions of amil zakat will naturally occur a healthy competition, which will encourage their creativity and innovation to create products or service channels based on information technology in accordance with the increasing level of demands of society.
With supervision under OJK, standardization of management should be oriented towards improving service to the community, standardization of human resource competency, information technology standard, financial accounting standardization and other matters equivalent to other financial service institutions. This ensures financial accountability and transparency with the aim of making Baznas and LAZ institutions as institutions to collect and distribute zakat, infak, and sedekah to be credible and trusted by society. Lastly, community will not hesitate to channel zakat through Baznas and LAZ.