Govt move for interest-free banking system lauded. Business community unconditionally supports the decision. Govt should ensure swift implementation of the decision.

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Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday lauded the decision of the Federal Government to introduce an interest-free banking system.

The government will also withdraw two review appeals from the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) verdict on usury within the next few days which has gone down very well with the business community, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has announced the withdrawal of two review petitions filed by the State Bank of Pakistan and National Bank of Pakistan against the judgment of the Federal Shariat Court to transform Pakistan’s economic and financial system as Riba-free in five years which is highly laudable.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that this bold decision will help transform the economy as per the spirit of Shariah.

The Federal Shariat Court in its decision in April declared the prohibition of Riba and the Government immediately announced to comply with the verdict but two banks the State Bank of Pakistan and the National Bank of Pakistan filed appeals against the judgment.

Now, the decision to withdraw petitions is an expression of the firm resolve of the Government not to take refuge behind lame excuses and instead start taking measures towards an interest-free economy.

Mian Zahid Hussain observed that there were challenges in moving towards a Riba-free system as it could not be done in one day but they would move towards a Shariah-compliant system at an increased pace.

It will be challenging for the authorities to move towards the total elimination of Riba from the system in a complex domestic and international environment but it is not impossible as Islamic banking is at an advanced stage in Pakistan.

The business leader said that we hope the Government would move beyond verbal assurances and ensure the completion of the whole exercise strictly within five years.

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