Islamic Finance fully supported by govt: Dar

KARACHI: Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar on Wednesday said that the government has been committed to promote Islamic finance ever since it assumed office and that he is pleased to learn the progress made by the Steering Committee on Promotion of Islamic Banking.

The Minister stated this while attending the meeting of the Steering Committee at the State Bank of Pakistan.

On this occasion the Minister listened to issues raised by Steering Committee members pertaining to Taxation and Regulatory framework and promised to look into issues faced by Islamic banks. He assured that the Government will give Islamic banks priority in raising project related financing.

On the importance of Recovery Act for encourage lending, it was stated that the bill is in the National Assembly and it was expected that after its passage the financing of the real economic activities will increase.

The Minister also appreciated the efforts of Deputy Governor SBP Saeed Ahmed to motivate conventional banks who have substantial Islamic banking business to establish an Islamic banking subsidiary. For this purpose the initial minimum capital requirement has been reduced to PKR 6 billion from PKR 10 billion.

In order to facilitate good coordination between the Steering Committee, SBP and Ministry of Finance, Finance Minister agreed to have a dedicated person in his team in the Ministry. Such focal person will have direct access to the Minister to highlight issues faced by Islamic banks.

Federal Minister also declared the formation of an Implementation Committee and expressed the hope that Implementation Committee will work as dedicatedly as was done by the Steering Committee.

The meeting was also attended by the Governor SBP Mr. Ashraf Mahmood Wathra, Deputy Governor Saeed Ahmed, Chairman SECP Mr. Zafarul Haq Hijazi, Chairperson of State Life, Nargis Ghaloo and Dean IBA, Dr. Ishrat Hussain.

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