Islamabad- Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Ishaq Dar on Friday reiterated the government’s resolve to switch over from conventional banking to Islamic banking and finance to enhance shariah compliant assets. “The Shariah compliant assets currently stand at 10 per cent of the total banking products in Pakistan,” Dar said while addressing a seminar here.
The seminar titled “Promoting excellence in Islamic Finance” was organised by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in collaboration with UK aid, Department of International Development with an aim highlight the importance of Islamic banking. Dar said that Pakistan had been the early promoter of shariah compliant as government had taken several steps to promote Islamic banking and finance in Pakistan.
He said the government had issued sukuk bonds in international market which received overwhelming response and Pakistan was entered in the Sukuk market after nine years. He said the government had also formed a steering committee headed by the SBP deputy governor which was actively working on the development of reliable database and human resource needed by the Islamic banking. He said at present, the Islamic finance industry of Pakistan consisted of 19 Islamic banks with a network of 1,200 branches spread across 80 districts, 27 Mudaraba companies, 15 mutual funds and 5 Takaful companies.
The industry now constitutes over 10 per cent of Pakistan’s financial system and maintains strong growth momentum, adding that Islamic finance industry in Pakistan needed trained human resource in order to realise the true market potential and emerge as a strong player in the global financial arena, he said. He stressed the need for introducing different short- and long-term courses for preparing the skilled Islamic financial experts as skill human resource play vital role in development.
He said the total assets of Islamic banking in Pakistan reached over one trillion by end of December 2013, adding that the total Islamic Banking deposits reached Rs 868 billion in December 2013 which accounts 10.4 per cent of the total deposits of the banking sector. The SBP governor said the bank had fixed a target to enhance the share of Islamic banking up to 20 per cent which currently stood at 10.4 per cent by increasing banking network up to 2,000 branches from existing 1,400 branches.
Originally published on www.pakistantoday.com.pk