ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Muhammed Ishaq Dar on Wednesday said that State Bank of Pakistan and National Bank of Pakistan would withdraw their petitions from the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the judgment of Federal Shariat Court in which the Court had ordered implementation of interest-free banking system in the country.
The minister said that in this regard he held several meetings and detailed discussions with the Governor, State Bank of Pakistan and under the special directives of Prime Minister, it was decided that both the SBP and NBP would withdraw their petitions against the decision. He said that the government would also expedite its efforts to introduce Shariah compliant banking system in the country for rapid growth and promotion of Islamic bank and finance.
He further informed that during 2013-18 several steps were being taken to promote Islamic economic system and a special committee comprising on Islamic scholars were also formed, adding that Islamic Banking system also observed significant growth and progress at that time.
However, he said that from last few years the sector was completely neglected and no further progress was witnessed, adding that promotion of Islamic economic system and interest free banking was the top priority of incumbent government He said that government was also determined to overcome all the challenges faced for introducing interest free banking system and it will take all possible measures to take forward the interest free banking and economy for the prosperity of nation. The minister also congratulated the nation on the victory of Pakistan cricket team against New Zealand.
AIIB to extend $500m for development programme: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday announced the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) would extend $500 million as co-financing for a development programme in Pakistan.
“These funds will be received by the State Bank of Pakistan within November 2022,” Dar tweeted, as the cash-strapped nation desperately seeks financing to cushion the impact of floods. The BRACE (Building Resilience with Active Counteryclical Expenditures Programme) is an Asian Development Bank (ADB) financing programme to counter the social fallouts of economic crisis.
The funds would help shore up forex reserves held by the central bank, which were recorded at $8,912.9 million as of October 28 — providing an import cover of just over a month. The reserves are crucial for the country amid the current situation, where it has to also import edibles after the cataclysmic floods devastated the agricultural crops and dealt damages estimated at over $30 billion.
In October, The Asian Development Bank (ADB) also approved $1.5 billion in financing to help Pakistan provide social protection, promote food security, and support employment for its people amid devastating floods and global supply chain disruptions. The loan, provided under ADB’s BRACE programme, will help fund the government’s $2.3 billion countercyclical development expenditure programme designed to cushion the impacts of external shocks, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Pakistan is also likely to receive a $450 million loan from the World Bank as the international creditor confirmed that the country had accomplished all conditions attached to the Resilient Institution for Sustainable Economy (RISE-II) programme. The board of directors of the World Bank is expected to approve the $450 million loan in November.