Billions withdrawn before Zakat deductionTuesday, September 02, 2008
By Shahzad Anwar
KARACHI: Thousands of accountholders withdrew billions of rupees from their saving accounts during the last few days ahead of the deduction of ‘Zakat’, the fourth pillar of Islam and an obligatory annual money contribution by affluent Muslims (at 2.5 per cent of one’s savings) for the needy people of the society.
A big number of accountholders rushed to their respective banks and ATM kiosks on Monday intending to draw their cash to avoid zakat deduction. The money market came under tremendous pressure in the wake of heavy withdrawals and faced liquidity crunch that forced banks to borrow Rs8.4 billion from discount window of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in order to maintain their mandatory cash reserves.
Though exact amount of withdrawal in a single day is yet to be ascertained, banking sources said that the volume of cash taken out by accountholders on Monday and last week of August was in billions.
Numerous accountholders, particularly corporate accountholders, also converted deposits of billions of rupees into Call Deposit Receipts (CDR) or pay orders, which would be deposited again into the original accounts soon after the deduction of Zakat on Tuesday after the Ramazan moon was sighted on Monday.
This year 2.5 percent Zakat is applicable (Nisab of Zakat) on Rs19,625 or above balance of saving accounts of the banks’ customers. The banking sources said that from 2nd Ramazan which is likely to fall on Wednesday most of the people would again deposit money, encashed or converted into Call Deposit Receipts. Bankers said that it would be very difficult to guess the actual amount of money, either withdrawn from bank or converted into CDRs however, they believed that could be in billions and might be around Rs15-20 billion.
The people against the deduction of Zakat on their saving account have to submit affidavit to their respective bank one month prior to start of Ramazan. However, some small and foreign banks accept affidavit few days or a day before deduction of zakat in order to facilitate their corporate and valuable individual accountholders.
Since last couple of days large number of ATM machines were not doling out cash to banking customers and customers were very much annoyed by the ‘Machine is out of order’ stickers labelled outside ATM Kiosks. The internal sources said that actually banks were facing liquidity shortage due to which they were not enough cash to place a substantial amount in ATM machines.
Moreover, heavy withdrawals caused immense pressure in money market, as large number of accountholders injected a big amount in forex trade in order to mint easy profit in short span of time. The fresh inflow in forex trade stirred the Rupee-dollar parity and the exchange rate of US dollar surged to Rs76.90 in interbank market, which was being traded at Rs76.40 early on Monday.
Any more info can be provided by fellow forum members from that particular country.
Mullah: "We declare universal Sharia!"
Rich Muslim: "Yeah! I grab 4 wives, between 12 and 20 years please, I am a good faithful!"
Mullah: "We declare jihad to the unfaithful Western dogs!"
Rich Muslim: "Yeah! Send this idiot with an explosive belt down the road to the Westerners, While I'm fvcking in my harem those poor bastard lower-class hopelessy-forever-single-males hanging across the street are annoying my sight... better if they die!, I am a good faithful!"
Mullah: "We declare compulsory Zakath!"
Rich Muslim: "WTF? Uh? - *do immediate money transfer to a bank account overseas, hitch a plane to Las Vegas and begin drinking booze and eating roasted pork* - I am a good faithful... but not *even* try to mess with ma money! Ya undestand Mr. Beardy Mully Mullah??!?!"