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.


Saudi minister Al-Falih says Aramco IPO likely in 2019

Updated 1 min 12 sec ago
0

Saudi minister Al-Falih says Aramco IPO likely in 2019

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is most likely to hold the initial public offering (IPO) of oil giant Aramco in 2019, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Friday, confirming a delay from the initial plan to list the company this year.

“The timing I think will depend on the readiness of the market, rather than the readiness of the company or the readiness of Saudi Arabia,” Khalid Al-Falih, who’s also the company’s chairman, said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia on Friday.

“We are ready, the company essentially has ticked all the boxes,” he said. “We’re simply waiting for a market readiness for the IPO.”

For almost two years, Saudi officials said repeatedly the IPO was “on track, on time” for the second half of 2018. But for the first time in March they suggested it could be delayed until 2019, pushing back a central plank of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to modernize the economy.

“Most likely it will be in 2019 but we will not know until the announcement has been made,” Al-Falih said. “All I could say is stay tuned.”

The Aramco IPO would be a once-in-a-generation event for financial markets. Saudi officials said they hope to raise a record $100 billion by selling a 5 percent stake, valuing the company at more than $2 trillion and dwarfing the $25 billion raised by Chinese retailer Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in 2014.

Others have poured cold water on the valuation, suggesting a figure much closer to $1 trillion, basing their calculations in part on the first set of accounts on the company revealed earlier this year by Bloomberg News.