KARACHI: There are four key issues that are hampering Pakistan’s growth, which are poverty, economic inequality, regional disparity and illiteracy, said Adviser to PM on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Ishrat Husain.
Addressing the third International Conference on Islamic Banking and Finance on Wednesday, Husain underlined the need for helping young entrepreneurs, providing education to rural women and promoting the programme-lending business model. He stressed the need for using Ijara in agricultural financing and educating poor students from backward areas.
The adviser was hopeful that fintech and artificial intelligence could develop credit-scoring models. He was confident that investment in low-cost affordable housing schemes would bring positive results and that the government of Pakistan was promoting the initiative.
He pointed out that non-performing loans were one of the biggest challenges to the banking industry, and Islamic banking, being Shariah-compliant, could assess the risk way better than conventional banking.
Using the same strength, Islamic banking was more suitable for funding start-ups, which were otherwise avoided by conventional banks, he said. Also speaking on the occasion, Institute of Business Management President Talib Karim called for establishing the Centre of Islamic Banking to explore the potential of the sector in Pakistan.
The two-day conference, which will continue on November 7, has invited international speakers from the US, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Malaysia and Qatar. They will discuss how Islamic banking facilitates SMEs.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2019.