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Monday, 3 September 2007

Indo-Arab Economic Forum demands Islamic Banking services in India

New Delhi, Sep 2: Delegates at a conference organized by Indo-Arab Economic Forum today asked the government and the banking system in the country to take necessary measures for introducing participatory banking in the country. Participatory banking is increasingly used as an euphemism for Islamic banking. K Rahman Khan, the deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha who is also the Chairman of the Organisers' Managing Committee said on the margins of the conference that India being the home of more than over 150 million Muslims, there was a need for promoting participatory banking in a big way. He added that Islam like Hinduism and Christianity does not approve taking or paying interest.Deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha said that participatory Banking will fulfill the Islamic obligations of a large sections of Indian community. He asked the regulatory bodies like RBI and SEBI and Indian banking industry to provide viable alternative for section of people to invest their saving in tune with their religious faith. He asked the banks to start one section within their system catering to those believing in participatory banking system.Indian Bankers Association (IBA) chairman said that " Islamic banking is an idea, whose time has come. The IBA will study the concept, but will wait for the regulatory framework by the RBI to run it".Hamid Ansari, Indian Vice President while speaking on the occasion supported the need for launching Islamic Banking, which would provide an opportunity to invest according to Shariya principles.Sulaiman N Al-Qimlas, Deputy Chairman & Managing Director of Bayt Al Mal, which is a major financial institution in Kuwait also said that their group was interested in getting a licence to start Islamic banking in collaboration with Indian partners.Dr M Manzoor Alam, President of the Indo-Arab Cooperation Forum and chairman of Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) said that Participatory Banking system exists in one third of the UN countries including countries like Switzerland, China, Russia and several banks of US and UK.

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