Do not be easily tempted by (online) loans on the web. (Getting) loans is easy, but repaying them is difficult
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Amil Zakat Agency (Baznas) has urged people to not be easily swayed by online loan applications that will further compound the problem, given their high interest rates.

"Do not be easily tempted by (online) loans on the web. (Getting) loans is easy, but repaying them is difficult," Deputy Chairman of Baznas Mo Mahdum stated here on Monday.

Mahdum has called on people to contact Baznas if they are in dire need of assistance or if it is an emergency, as the agency is an official government institution that specifically collects, manages, and distributes zakat.

The funds collected are then distributed to various programs, both emergency and productive. He cited the example of emergency programs, ranging from medical assistance and basic necessities to education.

Related news: Illegal fintechs do not meet legal requirements : Minister

On the other hand, productive programs are meant to provide capital assistance for micro and small business actors, to build public facilities, and to collaborate with livestock and plantation.

He affirmed that the productive programs are aimed at helping them to develop themselves further while fulfilling their basic needs.

Mahdum noted that people in need of assistance could directly contact Baznas or directly visit the agency's locations in their respective areas. The officers will conduct verification to ensure that the people to be assisted are those who really need it and meet the criteria.

"People who need help can contact us. Later, we will verify whether they are really poor. If he wants to borrow money, (we need to know) what is that borrowed money for," he affirmed.

Related news: Beware of illegal online loan services

Baznas is keen that the people, who have been assisted, become economically empowered, so they can become muzaki (zakat givers) in the long term. Thus, the empowerment programs will continue to run on an ongoing basis.

"Hence, the key point is that we can provide strategic programs. (We want to build a sort of) mentality (that) is not only (to remain as) zakat recipients but also (to grow as) zakat givers in the future," Mahdum remarked.

He encouraged the public to set aside some part of their wealth, as when collected, the value of the benefits provided will be large since they will be diverted to various strategic programs.

"We are here to help people in need. We pay zakat via formal means. We can make strategic programs whose impact will be measurable," he added.

Related news: Greater compliance to health protocols among vaccinated residents: NGO

Related news: Increased travel requirements for abroad returnees to fight Delta Plus

Translator: Asep F, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2021