India urged to adopt interest-free banking system

Updated 10 March 2013
0

India urged to adopt interest-free banking system

The Keralite community of Jeddah proudly released the book “Islamic Banking” written by KTM Kutty during a function at Red Sea Palace Hotel here recently. The book is first of its kind to be released in the Malayalam language. Prof. Muhammed Azmi Omar, director general of Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) at the Islamic Development Bank, released the book by handing it to Alungal Muhammed, CMD of Abeer Medical Group. The program was organized by the Islamic Dawah Council in Jeddah.

Prof. Omar gave an informative presentation on the fundamental principles of Islamic banking and called upon the Indian government to make use of the system to boost its economy and exterminate poverty from the country. He talked about transparency in contracts of Islamic banking where everything is explicitly spelled out, and the presence of a third party to ensure Shariah compliancy of Islamic banks and its dealings.

He expounded the need to avoid using the word ‘Islamic’ while introducing interest-free banking systems in a country like India where anything relating to Islam is sensitive. He also gave an overview of the status of Islamic banking around the globe. Although India has the largest number of Muslims, it is difficult to establish an Islamic bank in the country because of the monetary policies of Reserve Bank of India that necessitate any company that lends money to name the interest rate of the institution. He concluded his presentation by reminding the audience that the current status of Islamic banks is in no way perfect because the process of perfecting the system is still an ongoing one.

The book was reviewed by A.M. Sajith of Malayalam News. He was of the opinion that the book was a must read for all Malayalees who wish to understand the fundamentals of Islamic banking. The book gives a very good introduction to the topic.
Muhammed of Al-Abeer gave a felicitation speech praising the effort of the author and encouraged the audience to take further steps in making interest-free banking a norm in our community. Sulaiman Faisi, a mentor of IDC, urged the participants to read the book at least three times so that they understand the concepts thoroughly. “Every Muslim should understand the concepts of the Islamic monetary system.

He also shared the beauty of the zakat system of Islam and explained how zakat would boost a country’s economy. He seconded the view of Prof. Umer saying that the word Islamic should be removed from Islamic banking to be welcomed in countries like India. “The Qur’an is meant for all human beings, so is the monetary system in Islam. So it is not confined to Muslims,” he added.
The author, Kutty shared his experiences in writing the book. The program was attended by representatives from different cultural organizations, the IDB and the media. Muneer welcomed the gathering while Nasser gave a vote of thanks.


Iraq parliament approves 2019 budget, one of largest ever

Updated 24 January 2019
0

Iraq parliament approves 2019 budget, one of largest ever

  • The budget will be largely funded by oil revenues
  • The 2019 budget is almost 45 percent higher than last year’s budget

BAGHDAD: Iraqi lawmakers on Thursday approved the government’s 2019 budget, which at $111.8 billion is one of the oil-rich country’s largest ever spending bills.
It represents a nearly 45 percent increase from last year and awards even more money for public salaries, including those of the northern Kurdish region.
Nearly 90 percent of the budget comes from oil revenues.
Iraq expects to export 3.9 million barrels per day in 2019, including 250,000 bpd from the Kurdish region, at an average of $56 per barrel.
The current price of crude sits at $63 per barrel.
The deficit is expected to more than double to $23.1 billion, while investments increase to $27.8 billion.
The draft bill was originally submitted to parliament in October but has been fiercely debated since then.
MPs from provinces ravaged by the fight against the Daesh group criticized it for not allocating enough reconstruction funds to their regions.
Another debate raged over the share that would be allotted to the administratively autonomous Kurdish region.
MPs had originally scheduled a session for 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday but delayed it to 7:00 p.m. and voted article by article, finishing just after midnight.
The government proposed $52 billion in salaries, pensions, and social security for state workers — a 15-percent jump from 2018 and more than half the total budget.
Notably, parliament passed a budget measure to fund salaries for the Kurdistan region’s state workers and armed forces, the peshmerga.
The budget also stipulates the Kurdish Regional Government must export 250,000 bpd of crude through state-owned companies and deposit the revenues in federal coffers.
If it didn’t, MP Sarkawt Shamsaddin told AFP, Baghdad would continue to pay salaries but would not disburse other funds to the Kurdish region.
“The good thing is public servants’ salaries and peshmerga are not subject to political disputes,” said Shamsaddin, representing the northeastern Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah.
Relations between Baghdad and Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish region, soured in 2017 after Kurdish authorities held an independence referendum.
Last year’s budget was approved by parliament in March.
Parliament had also scheduled a vote on two of the five remaining empty cabinet posts in Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi’s government but adjourned without holding it.