PESHAWAR: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Finance Minister Sirajul Haq on Monday announced setting up an Islamic micro finance bank at an estimated cost of Rs1 billion.
Inaugurating the newly-envisaged micro finance bank at the headquarters of the Bank of Khyber (BoK), Siraj said interest-free banking was their priority and that this bank will provide interest-free loans to poor people.
Haq said the interest-based economic system was an exploitative one, adding Islam does not allow engaging in usurious transactions.
The minister said they were gradually inching towards interest-free banking and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was also encouraging Islamic banking.
He maintained an Islamic micro finance bank would help in reducing poverty and unemployment.
Haq said they had launched the first Islamic banking branch of BoK in Ramazan of 2003 and now 45 such branches operate across the country.
Haq said they wanted to provide benefits of Islamic banking to the people of K-P in the first phase, while in the second phase they planned to facilitate people across the country.
He said alleviation of poverty would also lead to an improvement in the law and order situation, ending the sense of deprivation among the youth.
Siraj said the micro finance bank will benefit low income people and technically trained youth.
K-P finance secretary Syed Badshah Bukhari and managing director BoK Imran Samand were also present on the occasion.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2014.
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