KOCHI: Former Judge of the Supreme Court of India V.R. Krishna Iyer said here on Monday that Islamic banking provided the humane face to the business of banking and it took into consideration the needs of the poor with kindness and compassion.
He was inaugurating an international seminar on ‘Islamic Finance in India: Products, Institutions and Regulations.'
Mr. Iyer said Islamic banking was not limited to any particular community or faith but open to all.
Convener of the National Committee on Islamic Banking H. Abdur Raqeeb chaired the inaugural session, that was attended, among others, by Members of Parliament E.T. Mohammed Basheer and M.I. Shanavas, Muddassir Siddiqui from the U.S., and Munawirali Shihab Thangal.
Special Correspondent adds: Earlier addressing a press conference, Muddassir Siddiqui, a leading authority on interest-free banking, said the adoption of interest-free banking system offered a great opportunity to attract substantial investments from countries in the West Asian region to India. He said institutions and high net worth individuals from these countries were looking forward to investment opportunities in India, one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The traditional relationship between India and Arab countries would also act as catalyst for selecting India as the investment destination, he added.
According to projections by global consultant major, McKinsey, investment surplus in the West Asian region is expected to be around $9 trillion by 2020. Currently, the investment surplus in the region is about $1.5 trillion.
India could attract a good portion of this huge investment potential by developing the appropriate regulatory framework, Mr. Abdur Raqeeb said. Regulatory framework suitable for interest-free banking would not have any impact on the existing financial system in the country. England, France, the U.S., Hong Kong and several other countries were having interest-free banking system along with the conventional banking system, he said.
A high-level committee on Financial Sector Reforms of the Planning Commission headed by Raghuram Rajan had recommended interest-free Islamic banking to be introduced in the banking system for inclusive growth.
Interest-free finance and banking focusses on transparency, cooperative ventures, shared risk and ethical investing which attracts a wide range of both Muslims and non- Muslims alike, according to reputed global consultant Boston Consulting Group.
The conference is being organised by Al-Jamia Al-Islamiya, Santhapuram, Kerala and IRTI of Islamic Development Bank, KSA. The business sessions of the seminar will get under way at Hotel Le Meridian at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.