ICCI calls on Islamic banks to focus on SMEs development


The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with FPCCI Standing Committee on Islamic Banking and Takaful organised a seminar on Islamic banking which was attended by a large number of business community.

Speaking at the occasion, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Muzzamil Hussain Sabri said that businessmen wanted to get rid of interest-based banking for starting new and expanding existing businesses. However, there was still lot of confusion between conventional and Islamic banking which needed to be cleared by holding more awareness sessions on Islamic banking.

He said there should be full-fledged Islamic banks on micro finance to support SMEs as currently no Islamic bank was focusing on SMEs with better products. He stressed that the branches of Islamic banks should be enhanced in the country to provide more consumer outreach as the insufficient branch network and lack of awareness in general masses were the major hurdle in the growth of Islamic banking. He hoped that this event would enable participants to understand the benefits of Islamic banking that will help in promoting interest-free banking.

Mufti Hassaan Kaleem, Renowned Shariah Scholar and Shariah Advisor of Dubai Islamic Bank delivered a detailed lecture on the structure and mechanism of Islamic banking that has emerged as a viable option to get rid of interest-based financial dealings.

Mehmood Arshad, Chairman, FPCCI Standing Committee on Islamic Banking, and Takaful highlighted the role of FPCCI in promoting Islamic banking in the business community. He said his committee had already organised seminars on Islamic banking in some chambers of commerce and plans to hold more such seminars in other major chambers of the country to create better awareness in businessmen about interest-free and sharia compliant banking.

Mahmood Shafqat, Additional Director, Islamic Banking Division, State Bank of Pakistan, said that the State Bank had established an Islamic Banking Department to evolve a stable and distinct Islamic banking system based on Sharia principles to meet the needs of consumers for Islamic banking products and services.

Farhan-ul-Haq Usmani, Senior Vice President, Meezan Bank, highlighted various products of Islamic banking for corporate and individual customers and added that Islamic products cover 85 percent of the services offered by conventional banks and added that Islamic banking had bright future in the country.