Bogor, West Java (ANTARA News) - The National Tithe Collecting Agency (Baznas) has this year received only Rp1.3 trillion in tithes (zakat) out of a target of Rp2 trillion, Baznas Chairman Didin Hafidhuddin said.

"This is only a preliminary amount as Baznas has set a target of Rp2 trillion," Didin said after receiving tithes from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the latter`s residence here Saturday.

The figure showed that not all the tithes that should have been paid had been collected. The amount had now reached Rp1.3 trillion, said Didin who remained optimistic that Baznas would meet the target.

"We still have time. Insya Allah (God willing), we will meet the target in September," he said, adding that the amount of Rp1.3 trillion had been received from 283, 000 people obligated to pay the tithes across Indonesia.

He said people`s interest in paying tithes through Baznas was tending to increase from year to year. The interest was expected to increase by up to 30 percent.

In an effort to collect more tithes from the people, which will be returned in the form of welfare to them, he hoped the people would not exaggerate the dichotomy between taxes and tithes.

"Tithe (zakat) is a religious obligation while tax is an obligation to the state. The two should be managed under religious mandate and openly as they are matters of high trust," he said.

On the occasion, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono asked Baznas to collect data on the number of zakat payers across Indonesia as a way to increase the number of zakat payers.

The data was expected to have been submitted by Baznas to the president by October, 2011.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2011