Islamic banking has to increase investment in agri, SME

Amanullah Khan

Karachi—Dr Ishrat Hussain, Chairman Center of Excellence for Islamic Finance (CEIF) emphasized that Islamic Finance should not be restricted to faith based segment and that the merits of the system which is real asset based should be researched in an objective manner. He further elaborated that the banking sector has to increase investment in agriculture, SME and Islamic Microfinance. In his opening remarks at the Awareness Seminar on Islamic Finance organized by IBA Centre of Excellence in Islamic Finance (CEIF) at IBA City Campus in Karachi. Deputy Governor SBP, Mr. Saeed Ahmad, was the chief guest at the event.
He stated that the share of Islamic Banks is 13pc growing at the rate of 28%, however, there are still regulatory and legal challenges which need to be addressed to make a real shift in lending profiles. Theoretically, it’s the best but there are still challenges. He appreciated the establishment of the three Centres and the work done by them in a short span of six months.
Irfan Siddiqui, CEO Meezan Bank, discussed the journey of Islamic Banking and highlighted the solutions offered by Islamic Banks which offered as wide an array of products as conventional banks. He suggested that there is no reason why not consumers should not shift to Islamic Banks. Dr. Imran Usmani, Resident Shariah Board Member, Meezan Bank explained the concept of Islamic Banking and Riba. Director CEIF, Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, in his vote for thanks highlighted the contribution IBA CEIF where it has offered various professional courses, is documenting a country report on Islamic Finance Sector of Pakistan and is on the anvil of launching an MS program in Islamic Finance.

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