The Federal Minister for Finance, Ishaq Dar has reaffirmed the government’s firm resolve to promote the Islamic finance industry and eliminate the interest-based system in Pakistan.
According to the media reports, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar addressed the inaugural session of the International Conference on the Islamic Capital Market in Islamabad today (Monday, May 29).
In his remarks, the Finance Minister said that we are committed to achieving the goal of this transformation within the timeframe of five years given by the Federal Shariat Court. He said Pakistan has a strategic plan in place to develop Islamic finance.
Ishaq Dar announced that the National Savings have been directed to launch Shariat-compliant products for investors. He said the products shall cater to the persistent public demand for safe investments in line with the principles of Shariat. He said the finance division has constituted a steering committee for providing strategic guidelines regarding the implementation of the Federal Shariat Court’s judgment on Riba.
The Finance Minister further stated that the committee will monitor the progress of the implementation of the judgment and remove the bottlenecks. The committee has so far made significant progress and five working groups have been formed to overcome technical issues and decide on the way forward for full implementation of Islamic financing in Pakistan. These working groups are actively deliberating to formulate a comprehensive set of proposals to ensure a seamless transition of our system into a Shariat-compliant system, he said.
The Minister pointed out that the size of the Islamic Finance Industry in Pakistan is estimated to have surpassed forty-two billion dollars last year and assets and deposits stand at 7.2 trillion and 5.2 trillion rupees respectively. He said assets of the Islamic banking industry posted year-on-year growth of twenty-nine percent in the fiscal year 2022. He said the network of the Islamic banking industry consists of twenty-two Islamic banking institutions, of these six are full-fledged Islamic banks, and sixteen conventional banks have stand-alone Islamic banking branches.