KARACHI: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has asserted that the federal government was committed to promote Islamic Banking in Pakistan and several steps were being taken with the cooperation of all the stakeholders, ARY News reported on Wednesday.
Addressing a seminar at Karachi Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the finance minister assured that the government was committed to truly implement Federal Shariah Court’s (FSC) verdict on full conversion of conventional banking system into Islamic one; with deadline of December 2027.
The seminar was attended by Government representatives, Ulema from different schools of thought, business community leaders, bankers, researchers, academics and media persons.
Ishaq Dar also announced to set up Islamic Finance Wing under his ministry within a week for fast working on the implementation of FSC verdict on Islamic banking.
He noted that since its first tenure PML-N had been making every possible effort for the promotion of Islamic banking country. But, he regretted, there was no progress on this account since 2018.
Now, he added, once again PML-N-led government had started working on fast track to promote Islamic banking and preferred financing through Sukooks.
“Islamic Banking must be our first choice,” he asserted adding that according to the Holy Quran, adopting interest-based trade and finance system meant declaring war with Allah Almighty and His beloved last prophet Hazart Muhammad (PBUH).
He informed that as a result of his pursuance State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and National Bank of Pakistan had withdrawn their appeals filed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the FSC deadline to fully shift to Islamic finance system.
Ishaq Dar expressed satisfaction that Islamic banking was getting edge over conventional banking by having a strong base of assets in trillion of rupees. He also assured that no conventional bank would be allowed to open a new branch.
Dar said that the government, along with State Bank of Pakistan, was taking all required steps and providing all maximum facilitation to the banks for financial inclusion wherein the people in remote and less developed areas of the country could easily become a part of the finance system. This would generate many economic activities.
He mentioned that the country had mostly experienced current and trade deficits because of more expenses than revenue. The minister assured that the country’s financial position was intact and there was zero chance of default.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Federal Shariat Court had declared an interest-based financial system in Pakistan against sharia after it announced its verdict in Riba case.
Jamaat-i-Islami chief Siraj ul Haq termed it a historic moment of the country and lauded the three-member bench that announced the verdict.
The three-member bench of the Federal Shariat Court in its verdict said that the existing laws related to riba and interest are against Shariah and it is the responsibility of the government to replace the existing system and bring laws in accordance to the guidance in Quran and Sunnah.
The court further set a deadline of 31 December 2027 to fully implement court’s order on elimination of interest from the country and said that the government could also implement the decision prior to the deadline.