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Islamic Bank will change the outlook of the state: Kerala Finance Minister

Wednesday March 02, 2011 10:03:10 PM, TCN News

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Malappuram: The Islamic Bank functioning on interest-free principles will change the very outlook of the development projects in the state, Kerala Finance Minister Dr Thomas Isaac said while inaugurating the seminar on ‘contemporary scopes of interest-free banking’ organized by the Kerala State Industries Development Corporation in Malappuram.

The Minister said that the idea of the Al Baraka Financial Services Limited emerged out of the thought of the ways to gather interest-free money for investing in development projects.

 

He hoped that Rs 40000 crores necessary for development projects mentioned in the state budget could be gathered through the interest-free investment. The plan behind the new venture is to utilize the interest-free idea put forward by Islam for the development of the state. The amount collected from the investors will be used for the development of roads and infrastructure of the state, and won’t be used for things prohibited by the Islamic Shariah.

 

The profit will be distributed among the investors. The very term Islamic bank had invited criticisms that it was against secularism and was associated with terrorism. But the government moved forward paying no heed to them, he added.

Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem, who presided over the function, said that the government had decided to give only 11% shares initially, even though many companies had expressed interest to buy up to 79% shares.

 

He expected that the Al Baraka could play an important part in several investment projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore in the state. Only Islamic financial institutions stood the economic crisis. There is an Islamic bank with seven branches in Britain where there are only 5% Muslims. He shared his hope that the legal impediments to begin an Islamic bank in India would soon move away.

Crores of rupees lay unused in the hands of individuals and in institutions in the Gulf while the lack of investment barred development projects in the state, said T Balakrishnan, Principal Secretary of the state Industries Department. He added that the Al Baraka would attract more foreign investment in Kerala.

Editor of ‘Madhyamam’ daily O Abdurahman, Raudathul Uloom Arabic College Principal Dr Hussain Madavoor and MES Medical College Director Dr Fasal Gafoor also spoke. KT Jaleel, MLA, welcomed and KSIDC general manager Thomas Kutty delivered the vote of thanks.

The Al Baraka was registered as a non-banking financial institution in 2009 under the initiative of the KSIDC. Dr Subrahmaniam Swamy president of Janata Party, however, filed a petition in the Kerala High Court against the company accusing that the government was favouring a particular community. The High Court ruled against Dr Swamy’s petition allowing the KSIDC to move forward with the project last month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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