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'Prime Minister bats for Islamic Finance when away, ignores at home'

Tuesday January 17, 2012 07:50:02 PM, ummid.com Staff Reporter

 

Malegaon: Though admitted that efforts are indeed on in India "to accommodate" the Islamic Finance System, Dr Shariq Nisar says, but the problem is that the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh does not advocate the system in the country with the same enthusiasm with which he supports it during his visits abroad.

 

"We heard Dr Manmohan Singh supporting the Islamic Finance System and acknowledging its benefits during his visit to Malaysia. But the determination with which the prime minister had made this statement was missing when he returned back to India", Dr. Shariq Nisar, one of the senior most professionals of Islamic Finance in India, said in reply to a question during a seminar on interest-free system January 15.

 

Dr Shariq Nisar, Director of Research and Operations of India’s premier shariah advisory firm TASIS was in Malegaon on Sunday to address a seminar on "Prospects of Islamic Finance in India". He was referring to the statement made by Dr Manmohan Singh during his visit to Malaysia in October 2010.

 

Prime Minister  Dr Manmohan Singh at a joint press interaction with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Tun Razak on October 27, 2010 had said, "I will certainly recommend it to the RBI to look at what is happening in Malaysia in this context. RBI is already looking into the question if India should allow Islamic banking."

 

In an apparent reference to this statement, Dr Shariq Nisar said, "The prime minister had also promised to recommend to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to look at what is happening in Malaysia in this context (Islamic Finance System).

 

"He also admitted that the RBI was already looking into the question if India should allow Islamic banking. But more than a year after this statement, we are still unclear about what RBI is doing in this regard."


The Islamic banking system is an interest free system in accordance with Sharia laws. Several Islamic banks in around 57 countries including United States, United Kingdom and France are running successfully. The Islamic Banks of the Middle East have in fact asked the Indian government to start the system on an experimental basis.

 

Efforts to establish a financial corporation is on in Kerala since last couple of years. Earlier the project received setback when Subramaiun Swamy, a known Muslim critic, filed against the move. The court however later rejected his petition. Newly elected Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy immediately after taking oath of the office had expressed the commitment to establish the Islamic Finance Corporation in the state.

 

Earlier while speaking to ummid.com, Dr Shariq said that taking advantage of the situation arising out of the economic crisis in Eurozone and countries like United States, India should adopt the Islamic Finance System to pump-in investments from the Middle East. This interest-free and more inclusive system will in turn speed-up the financial inclusion of the Indian Muslims.

"The Global Economic Crisis in the West is forcing investors to search for secure places of investment. Creating a situation which is suitable for such investors especially those from the Middle East can pump in huge investment in the country. Introduce the interest-free alternate financial system here and see how the funds start flowing from the oil-rich countries to India", he said.

"China and the Middle East are the two areas in the world where surplus funds more than their requirements are generated. China will never like to invest in India for the obvious reasons. We do not have such problems with the Arab World. We can attract the investors from there by introducing the Islamic Finance in our country", he said while pointing at the requirements in the country of reliable and committed investors in stock market, and banking and insurance sectors.

"And why not, the system is running successfully in more than 75 countries. It has also earned these countries rich dividends. Then why are we reluctant in taking a decision?", he asked while listing the countries like United States, United Kingdom, France and others besides the Muslim countries where Islamic Banking System is successfully running.

“Almost all the top multinational banks including Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, DBS, Barclay and others either have their full-fledged Islamic banks or have special windows in their branches - some located in the areas where Muslim population is negligible”, he said adding, "Singapore has in fact taken the lead to introduce the system in the Asian sub continent by opening The Islamic Bank of Asia”.

Linking the Islamic Finance with the empowerment of the Indian Muslims, he said, "The much sought after Muslim empowerment and their financial inclusion can also be achieved by bringing in the system here. For, a vast majority of the community keeps away from the existing banks merely because they are based on interest."

"The Islamic finance will not only provide them an opportunity of getting financial assistance, it will also streamline the amount of funds lying with the Muslims that otherwise don’t flow in the existing system”, he said while giving the example of Kerala where efforts are on to utilize in a suitable way an estimated 14000 crore rupees belonging to the Non Resident Indians (NRIs) mostly of the Gulf.

 

Interestingly, at the time when Dr Shariq Nisar was discussing with ummid.com in Malegaon about the investment opportunities in India from the Middle East, thousands of kms away Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on an official visit to Saudi Arabia was signing agreements related to trade and investments with Saudi crown prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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Picture of the Day

Dr Shariq Nisar, Director of Research and Operations of India’s premier shariah advisory firm TASIS and one of the senior most professionals of Islamic Finance in India, was in Malegaon on Sunday to address a seminar on "Prospects of Islamic Finance in India".

(Photo: ummid.com)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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