The efforts to set up an Interest-Free Financial Institution in Kerala received a boost when Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced that the Government of Kerala would extend all support to the setting up of Interest-Free Institutional Mechanism for Banking and Finance in the State initiated by the previous LDF government.
Inaugurating a national seminar on Interest-Free Mechanism at Trivandrum on July 4, the Chief Minister said his Government would move the papers for getting RBI’s permission to launch Interest-Free Banking in the country. He said the setting up of such an institution will attract investments from within and outside Kerala which will be utilised for infrastructure projects in the State.
Industries Minister PK Kunhalikutty, in his presidential address, said, “The main hurdle for several projects is Interest. The introduction of interest-free mechanism can lead to financing huge projects”.
He pointed out how Europe has undertaken financing massive infrastructure projects using interest-free finance concept and it is the right time for India to adopt this concept, particularly in Kerala.
Dr P Mohamad Ali, Chairman Al Baraka Financial Services, Former Finance Minister Dr TM Thomas Isaac, former Member of Planning Board CP John, Additional Chief Secretary T Balakrishnan (IAS), Alternative Investments and Credits Limited Director T Arifali, chief of Sign Human Resources Centre Munawarali Shihab Thangal, and Rabitha Educational Committee Regional Coordinator Dr Husain Madavoor, also spoke.
Before the commencement of the seminar, H Abdur Raqeeb, General Secretary, Indian Centre for Islamic Finance (ICIF) presented a memorandum to the Chief Minister and appealed to him to lead a delegation of all MPs of Kerala jointly to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherji to accommodate Interest-Free Islamic Finance and to provide a level playing field along with the conventional finance and banking either by an executive order of FinMin or amending the banking regulations as done in several countries.
Chief Minister Chandy responded, in his speech, that he would definitely prevail upon the Central Government to pave the way to accommodate the interest-free finance for infrastructure development of the state and be a role model to the whole country.
The seminar was jointly organised by Department of Islamic Studies in the University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram Chamber of Commerce, Indian Centre for Islamic Finance (ICIF), Indian Association for Islamic Economics, Al Barakah Financial Services Limited, Secura Investment and Management India Private Ltd, the Ecotech Builders and Alternative Investments and Credits Ltd.