Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday reiterated his resolve to abolish interest-based banking in the country, as he contended that ‘usury’ (practice of lending money at unreasonably high rates of interest) is strictly prohibited in Shariah, media reports said.
Addressing a seminar in Karachi, Dar claimed that Islamic financial system aims to transact as per the Shariah principles, Samaa TV reported.
He highlighted that it is easy to earn money under an interest-based system, however, it is illicit, the report said.
He went on to say that increasing income and reducing expenditure is the only solution, lamenting that people have become accustomed to spending more than their income.
The State Bank of Pakistan and the National Bank had filed appeals against the court’s decision of implementing usurious system in the country. At this, Dar said that he has reservations on it too.
The minister added that a country’s financial system is important for economic development and using banking services has become a necessity nowadays. However, he is still determined to end the interest-based system, Dar said.
The Finance Minister also shared that the repayment date of $1 billion of the Sukuk bond is December 3 to 5. He assured that there will be no delay in the payments of Sukuk which can cause a negative impact to the reputation of the country in the international market.
In response to his earlier claim of bringing the value of the US dollar sub Rs 200, Dar backtracked, saying that a stable economy is the need of the hour.
Dar also claimed that US dollar is being smuggled into Afghanistan, which Pakistan is trying to stop.
Shrugging off the negative politics, he said the economic instability in the country is due to the political tension in Pakistan.
He went on to reassure that Pakistan has faced more severe economic problems than the present crisis. However, the country will not default and will be free of usury in the next five years, he said, Samaa TV reported,