Country to get rid of interest-based system very soon, hopes Dar
Flays previous PTI govt for ruining the national economy
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Admitting that bringing the banking system in line with the Islamic Shariah was a great challenge, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday expressed the optimism that the government would do away with the interest-based system very soon, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
while addressing the ‘National Islamic Economic Forum’s conference on Roadmap for Islamization of the Economy’ via video link
Addressing the National Islamic Economic Forum’s conference on Roadmap for Islamisation of the Economy in Karachi via a video link, Dar said that the good thing was that the State Bank of Pakistan and the National Bank had already withdrawn their review petitions filed against the elimination of the interest-based system from the country.
The finance minister further said that the government had resolved the issues of the security exchange.
He expressed the hope that the conference would prove useful in the elimination of the system based on usury.
Dar said that Islamic banking was very close to his heart. The government remained committed to implementing the Islamic financial system in Pakistan, he said, adding “The subject of Islamic economic system is close to my heart. I desire and pray to eliminate the interest-based system from Pakistan at the earliest.”
The minister said a high-level three-member committee has been formed under the chairmanship of the Governor State Bank, under which the financial system of Pakistan will be planned to run on an Islamic basis. “I will be directly monitoring this committee,” he added.
Dar said the PML-N in its past tenure had introduced a number of measures to promote Islamic finance in the country, which had led to the progress of Islamic banking in the country. “One of the actions taken in this regard was the formation of a high-level steering committee consisting of all key stakeholders, including Ministry of Finance, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), and Shariah scholars,” he said and added “Back then, we had only one Islamic bank i.e. Meezan Bank, with only hundred branches. Now it stands at over 1,000 branches. Faysal Bank has also made major strides in this regard,” he said.
The minister said deposits in Islamic banks have increased significantly. “This shows that the time given by the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) of five years to convert the current financial system can be achieved,” he said.
However, he added that making the banking system Sharia compliant will be a huge challenge.
The minister expressed his government's determination to make Pakistan an economic power after nuclear power. He said Islamic banking is flourishing in the country and recommendations of the forum will auger well for eliminating interest-based system from the country.
Dar also strongly criticized the previous PTI government for massive mismanagement and misgovernance which has ruined the country's economy.