Govt taking steps to encourage Islamic banking: Sheikh

ISLAMABAD: Investment in Islamic banking industry has touched Rs424-billion mark till 2010 and the government is taking measures to encourage Islamic banking and finance in the country, Finance Minister, Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, told a seminar on Tuesday.

“In the wake of recent global financial crisis and debt problem of the third world countries and the Eurozone, the Islamic banking and finance has established it self globally and is growing at a rapid pace,” the federal minister said at the two-day international conference on Islamic Business and Finance.

Islamic banking and finance have been growing at a rapid pace globally as Islamic principles proved their viability worldwide, he added.

Riphah Centre of Islamic Business (RCIB), a constituent institute of Riphah International University had organised the conference to discuss the present state of Islamic business and finance.

The federal minister said that the size of Islamic Banking is expected to reach $1.3 trillion worldwide in near future. Presently more than 1,100 institutions were offering Islamic finance service across the globe.

Islamic banking was also very productive for the agriculture field, which could take benefit of it, however urged the banks to extend their role and reach the farming community.

He highlighted the importance of modernising the overall banking system of the country for the economic progress.

He said that the Islamic banks, coupled with a number of dedicated Islamic academic, legal, regulatory and supervisory institutions could provide a solid platform for future growth and development of the Islamic finance industry.

The federal minister called up the Islamic banking in stitutions to enhance awareness about Islamic banking products and develop human resource by facilitating and arranging training workshops, short-term courses and particularly offering post graduate academic institutions.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor, Riphah International University, Dr Anis Ahmed highlighted various aspects of the Islamic banking.

Senator Khursheed Ahmed said that there was a neede to evolve a new financial and economic system. He urged the participants of the conference to revisit the fundamentals and realize the importance of Islamic banking and finance.

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