Karachi, March 03, 2014 (PPI-OT): His Royal Highness Shaikh Ebrahim Bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa Chairman Board of Trustees Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), Minster for Housing, Kingdom of Bahrain, and Chairman Board of Directors, Meezan Bank Limited accompanied by senior officials of Meezan Bank Limited visited State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) today.
His Excellency Shaikh Ebrahim Bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa held a meeting with Deputy Governor SBP, Mr. Saeed Ahmad. The meeting was also attended by officials of Islamic Banking Department, SBP. The Deputy Governor welcomed his Royal Highness on his visit to SBP.
His Excellency Shaikh Ebrahim Bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa while acknowledging the significant growth of Islamic banking in the country appreciated the role of SBP for establishing a conducive regulatory environment for the industry. He emphasized that the Islamic banking industry needs to play a critical role in enhancing the financial penetration level in the country.
He opined that continued research will lead the move from current Shariah compliant products to fully Shariah based products. He appreciated the pioneer position of Pakistan in development of the sector and paid tribute to Mufti Taqi Usmani for his great contribution.
While focusing on the fundamentals of Islamic banking, he was of the view that the Shariah complaint financial system should make the flow of money to all those sectors critical for the broad based growth of the economy. He stated that the local market of Pakistan has huge potential for project based financing in sectors including energy, health, food, pharmaceutical, housing for which Islamic banking industry has more suitable solutions.
Mr. Saeed Ahmad Deputy Governor SBP appreciated the vision of his Royal Highness. He briefed the guest about various projects and schemes currently being under taken having great potential for local and foreign investors. He reassured SBP’s support for Islamic finance initiatives.
The Deputy Governor SBP repeated the resolve of the present Government of Pakistan and the commitment of SBP in promoting Islamic finance in the country. He discussed SBP’s 5 years strategic plan for Islamic banking industry. Mr. Saeed Ahmad, said that SBP is considering options to provide a comprehensive facility for Islamic banks to channel their liquidity through Shariah compliant modes.
After availability of this facility, Islamic banks will be restricted to channel their surplus funds to conventional banks, failing which regulatory penalty will be imposed. He emphasized that Islamic banks should increase their outreach to SMEs, agriculture and low cost housing sectors.
Deputy Governor also appreciated the work of AAOIFI and Shaikh Ebrahim Bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa’s instrumental efforts and his contribution for the promotion of Islamic banking and related accounting and technical matters.
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State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
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