India urged to adopt interest-free banking system

Updated 10 March 2013
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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.


GITEX Tech showcases Saudi Arabia’s regional innovation drive

Updated 46 min 1 sec ago
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GITEX Tech showcases Saudi Arabia’s regional innovation drive

DUBAI: Dubai’s GITEX Technology week showcased the region’s ability to take the lead in innovation technology, with Saudi Arabia on its way to take the driver’s seat, according to consulting firm Accenture’s country managing director in Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Arabia will be a leader in supporting innovation and the development of new technology in the region,” Khaled Al-Dhaher told Arab News.
“I think we (Arab countries) can always complement each other in the region to make sure we have the best innovation that is relevant for us and focused on the needs of our markets,” he added.
Among the main drivers behind the Kingdom’s surge into innovation and incubation is the Center of Initiatives at Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation (Misk), which is an exclusive partner at GITEX Future Stars 2018.
Misk Innovation showcased 20 Saudi-based start-ups and incubators, ranging from 3D printing technology (SHAKL) to e-commerce (Zid) to online grocery shopping (ZADFresh).
Another prominent player from the Kingdom was the Badir Program, which helps to sustain and develop pioneering environments within the Kingdom and stays in line with following the crown prince’s Vision 2030 plan.
The plan, unveiled in 2016, is a comprehensive blueprint for the future, laying out a strategy and clear targets to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy, and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation and tourism.
“We see a big support toward start-ups in terms of seed funding, arranging funding rounds, investment funding rounds, which actually is very important to accelerate the growth of these start-ups,” Badir Program’s CEO Nawaf Al-Sahhaf told Arab News, adding: “They (start-ups) created more than 2,000 jobs in the last two years.”
The 38th annual exhibition, which kicked off on Sunday, centered around the rise of smart cities. Dubai’s government featured high-tech stands promoting the emirate’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision of a totally smart Dubai.
While Dubai is ahead of Saudi Arabia in this respect, the latter is not far behind.
“Saudi Arabia is building new cities now, and one of them is NEOM. Smart cities needs smart solutions and smart products, so Saudi Arabia is a big supporter of entrepreneurs and the private sector in order to come up with these smart solutions,” Al-Sahhaf said.
“Saudi Arabia is moving in this [Smart] direction and we are in good hands,” he added.
The Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company, Taqania, was also featured at the exhibition. Owned by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, Taqania is one of Saudi Arabia’s main proponents in a non-oil dependent Kingdom aligned with Vision 2030, and invests in technology that contributes to the country’s economic diversification.
The exhibition is split among several categories including Gulf Comms & Mobility, Global Solution Providers, Smart Workplace & Smart Homes, Value-Added Distributors, Printing & Automation, Consumer Tech, Enterprise Software, Network & Security, Future Tech and IOT Big Cloud Data.
GITEX Technology week runs from Oct. 14 to 18, with GITEX Future Stars taking place from Oct. 14 to 17.