Asian countries, include Indonesia, are embarking on a new stage of its development, away from a heavy reliance on the commodity sector and toward a more balanced and equitable growth. To support and finance its enormous investment needs, countries will need to mobilize sizable savings domestically and build a strong financial system. In regard to that issue, Ministry of Finance, Republic of Indonesia held International Forum on Public Policy and Economic Development in Bali 8-9 Desember. This Forum is supported by Central Bank of Indonesia,  Indonesia Deposit Insurance Corporation, and also by various international institutions such as Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and Australia- Indonesia Partnership for Economic and Governance.

Puskas BAZNAS Deputy Director, Mohammad Soleh Nurzaman is invited as one of the speaker at this prestigous event. Speaking on this forum on Friday (12/9), he highlights the importance of utilizing Islamic social finance instrument as the supporting sector for the Indonesia Financial System. Nurzaman discusses the potential role of zakat to support the financial deepening and financial inclusion policy.Both, financial inclusion and financial deepening, have an important role to play in promoting economic growth and reducing poverty and inequality; the classical problems in Indonesia.

In his presentation, Nurzaman shows the potential amount of zakat that could reach hundreds trillion rupiah, and elaborates the impact of that fund. However, there are three challenges that should be tackled with, in order to unlock the great potential role of zakat: namely the insitutional issue, the public trust, and data and accountability. Nurzaman said that currently Natioanal Board of Zakat (BAZNAS) is on the right track to solve all those challenges.

Establishing the SIMBA (Zakat online system) , Developing the Zakat Core Principles, and including forming a measurement tools National Zakat Index are some of strategic actions that currently performed by BAZNAS. To complement those actions, Nurzaman propose the collaboration concept by involving the financial authorities to work with the BAZNAS. The collaboration could be set up by including zakat system into the Indonesia financial blue print, and also by providing grant to the zakat institution and collaborative fund for researches to elaborate further the concept. (Puskas News/