Islamic banking and finance offers a broad-based platform to end economic exploitation, said President Dr Arif Alvi.

Addressing the 10th ceremony of Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) on Monday, the president said fairness, equality, transparency and pursuit of social harmony constituted the principles of Islamic financing.

Stressing the need for uplifting the underprivileged segments of society, the president called for focusing on Islamic principles to prevent concentration of wealth in a few groups and eliminating exploitation by discouraging elitism.

Citing figures, Alvi said Islamic finance contributed $2.7 trillion globally, however, he pointed out that it was comparatively much less compared to conventional banking.

He appreciated the fact that 17% of Pakistan’s banks turned to Shariah-compliant instruments and commended the role of State Bank of Pakistan and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.

He stressed the need for raising awareness of Islamic finance so the society could reap benefits, which would stretch far beyond than just money lending.

“Justified profit-making and setting a suitable limit to avoid exploitation is a real challenge to banks,” he said. “Coronavirus pandemic poses financial problems worldwide, which require system adaptation accordingly.”


He mentioned that the Ehsaas programme, launched by the government, provided financial assistance to people during the difficult economic situation.

Regretting that morality suffered all across the world at the hands of economic interests, Alvi urged multinational companies to think beyond profit-making and consider the welfare of consumers and employees as well.

“The exploitative financial mechanism prevailing in the country is against the spirit of Islam,” he said and called for in-depth deliberation to address grievances of people.

President Alvi called for considering factors such as inflation while lending money to consumers and cited the example of China, which promoted white money through a simplified system based on transparent scientific modules.

He held the view that unless a country cared for its underprivileged and vulnerable, the goal of economic prosperity could not be achieved.

“Digital economy has prospects of benefitting many segments of society, particularly women and differently-abled persons,” the president said.

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