The 47th meeting of Meezan Bank’s Shariah Supervisory Board (SSB) was recently held as an online event, with the goal of preventing contagion and staying consistent with the recommendations of global and local health authorities and the Government. This was the first Shariah Supervisory Board meeting conducted completely online where members from across different countries participated via video conferencing.
The meeting was chaired by Justice (Retd.) Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani and was attended by Dr. Muhammad Imran Ashraf Usmani, Sheikh Esam Mohamed Ishaq (Bahrain) along with other members of the SSB. Meezan Bank’s Founding President and CEO – Mr. Irfan Siddiqui, Deputy CEO – Mr. Ariful Islam and senior management of the Bank were also present at the meeting.
In view of the current situation and the outlook for the coming months, the Bank’s SSB has approved guidelines for COVID-19 related re-finance schemes intended to provide relief to businesses and individuals during these challenging times.
The Board reviewed several key issues including policies adopted by the Bank as well as the corresponding contingency plans ensuring that the Bank continues to serve its customers normally despite the challenges faced due to COVID-19. Products and structures for providing relief to customers were also discussed in detail after which the SSB approved a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that SMEs get adequate support to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on their activities.
The SSB also approved Smart Remittance Account that will enable Overseas Pakistanis to apply for bank accounts online either in PKR or USD currency from anywhere outside Pakistan. This account will permit Overseas Pakistanis to remit money either in PKR or USD and to invest in Shariah-compliant alternative of “Overseas Pakistanis Saving Scheme” announced by Government of Pakistan (GoP).
Furthermore, the structure for the re-opening of GoP Ijarah Sukuk was also approved by the Board, making it the first time that a re-opening mechanism will be introduced in any Sukuk issued in Pakistan. The re-opening of Sukuk is expected to bring depth in the Pakistani Sukuk market.
The SSB appreciated the Bank’s ‘Work from Home’ policy amid the COVID-19 crisis; which has been adopted to protect the wellbeing of its employees, customers and stakeholders and expressed its overall satisfaction on the Shariah compliance environment and operations of the Bank.