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ISLAMABAD: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) hosted the 41st Council meeting of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) on December 15 at Islamabad. The meeting was presided over by the Governor SBP, Jameel Ahmad, who is also the Chairman of the IFSB council for 2022.

The meeting was attended by the Governors and senior officials of the central banks. During this meeting council held discussions and made various strategic and policy level decisions for IFSB.

Earlier, SBP also hosted some other high-level side events which included 15th IFSB public lecture session on ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Islamic finance philosophy: the way forward’. In this public lecture, the renowned international speakers shared valuable insights as how the principles of Islamic finance may help in embracing the United Nations’ agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On the occasion, Governor SBP, Jameel Ahmad said that our final destination is to have an inclusive Islamic financial system that meet the Maqasid-e-Shariah (objectives of Shariah) and expectations of stakeholders. While drawing linkage with the public lecture, Jameel Ahmad mentioned that UN Sustainable Development Goals are fully aligned with the Maqasid; be it poverty reduction or financial inclusion; health or education; environment protection or availability of infrastructure; gender diversity or low cost housing; all are 100 percent aligned with Maqasid-e-Shariah.

He advised banks to reap the untapped potential of Islamic banking as there exist a huge demand for the same in the country. He assured the banks’ CEOs & Presidents that SBP will continue supporting them through conducive policy and regulatory framework, fully aligned to promote Islamic finance.

The first public lecture was delivered by a renowned international Islamic finance scholar, Dr. Sami Ibrahim Al Suwailem, Chief Economist Islamic Development Bank. In his lecture, he shared his thoughts on role of Islamic finance in actualizing SDGs. He said that whole concept of sustainable development is based on the ability to see the future clearly enough to plan and sustain resources, not only for this generation but for the coming generations as well.

Irfan Siddiqui – Founding President & CEO, Meezan Bank also addressed the participants of the 15th IFSB public lecture on the topic. Siddiqui spoke on various topics including correct implementation of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), the need for Riba-free financial services and of greater Islamic financial inclusion in the country.

He elaborated how the concepts of sustainability are intrinsically weaved into Islamic teachings. He concluded his address with a summary of the various initiatives taken by Meezan Bank towards quality education, green energy, poverty reduction and development of sustainable infrastructure.

SBP also hosted the IFSB Members & Industry Engagement Session on December 14, 2022. In the industry engagement session, Secretary General of IFSB apprised the participants about the activities of IFSB and benefits available to its members in different membership categories.

The event was attended by CEOs of banks and non-banking financial institutions, asset management companies, brokerage firms and academic institutions. On the occasion, Deputy Governor, Sima Kamil also shared her thoughts with regard to current growth trends of Islamic banking in the country and IFSB role in the sustainable development of Islamic finance.

During the side events, SBP in collaboration with IFSB also arranged two capacity building workshops, one each for the banking and non-banking sectors. The capacity building workshops have been attended by over 140 senior level officials of banks and non-banking financial institutions.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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