Government of Pakistan nominates Mr. Irfan Siddiqui & Dr. Muhammad Imran Usmani as members of steering committee on Islamic financing

December 11th, 2013

The Finance Minister, Mohammad Ishaq Dar, has constituted a 10-member steering committee including Mr. Irfan Siddiqui – President & CEO – Meezan Bank and Dr. Muhammad Imran Usmani – Shariah Advisor & Group Head, PDSC Department – Meezan Bank to formulate a comprehensive policy framework for the Islamic financial system, and sought its recommendations by December 31, 2014. This committee comprises of Mr. Saeed Ahmad, Mufti Muneebur Rehman, Mr. Waqar Masood Khan – Finance Secretary, renowned bankers and the Director of Islamic Banking Department at the State Bank.

The committee will suggest practical steps needed to be taken to implement Shariah-based financial system, find out practical ways and means to maximize equity-based financing instead of the widespread debt-based system, and propose the government solutions for Islamic secondary market and money market for liquidity management. The committee will also chalk out a roadmap and propose a time plan for progression of different phases of Islamic banking, study international implications of converting conventional banking into Shariah-compliant banking and conduct an analysis of the possible legal obstacles in converting conventional banking into Shariah-compliant banking, and the changes required to remove these obstacles. According to the terms and references, the committee will also review the existing research and training facilities available in the country for Islamic finance and suggest measures for further reinforcement and new initiatives in this regard. The committee will review all previous official reports on Islamic banking, including reports of the Council of Islamic Ideology, the ‘Commission for Islamisation of Economy’, ‘Self Reliance Commission’, and the Commission of the State Bank of Pakistan. The report of the SBP’s commission was prepared in pursuance of the judgment of the Supreme Court.