Financial inclusion push: Govt, RBI mull launching sharia-compliant Islamic banking here

The central bank's proposal is based on examination of legal, technical and regulatory issues regarding feasibility of introducing Islamic banking in India on the basis of recommendation of the Inter Departmental Group

PTI November 21, 2016 10:38:38 IST
Financial inclusion push: Govt, RBI mull launching sharia-compliant Islamic banking here

New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed opening of "Islamic window" in conventional banks for "gradual" introduction of Sharia-compliant or interest-free banking in the country.

Both the Centre and RBI are exploring the possibility of introduction of Islamic banking for long to ensure financial inclusion of those sections of the society that remain excluded due to religious reasons.

Financial inclusion push Govt RBI mull launching shariacompliant Islamic banking here

Represntational image: Reuters

"In our considered opinion, given the complexities of Islamic finance and various regulatory and supervisory challenges involved in the matter and also due to the fact that Indian banks have no experience in this field, Islamic banking may be introduced in India in a gradual manner.

"Initially, a few simple products which are similar to conventional banking products may be considered for introduction through Islamic window of the conventional banks after necessary notification by the government.

"Introduction of full-fledged Islamic banking with profit-loss sharing complex products may be considered at a later stage on the basis of experience gained in course of time," the RBI has told Finance Ministry in a letter, a copy of which was received in response to an RTI query.

Islamic or Sharia banking is a finance system based on the principles of not charging interest, which is prohibited under Islam.

"It is also our understanding that interest-free banking for financial inclusion will require a proper process of the product being certified as Sharia compliant will be required both on the asset and liability side and the funds received under the interest-free banking could not be mingled with other funds and therefore, this banking will have to be conducted under a separate window," it said.

The central bank's proposal is based on examination of legal, technical and regulatory issues regarding feasibility of introducing Islamic banking in India on the basis of recommendation of the Inter Departmental Group (IDG).

RBI has also prepared a technical analysis report which has been sent to the Finance Ministry.

"In case it is decided to introduce Islamic banking product in India as suggested, RBI would require to undertake further work to put in place the operational and regulatory framework to facilitate introduction of such products by banks in India," the letter said.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

RBI maintains accommodative stance, leaves repo rate unchanged at 4%; hints at future relaxations
India

RBI maintains accommodative stance, leaves repo rate unchanged at 4%; hints at future relaxations

RBI had last revised its policy rate on May 22, in an off-policy cycle to perk up demand by cutting interest rate to historic low.

Sashidhar Jagdishan set to be next CEO of HDFC Bank; Aditya Puri's successor joined back in 1996
Business

Sashidhar Jagdishan set to be next CEO of HDFC Bank; Aditya Puri's successor joined back in 1996

Jagdishan, a chartered accountant by profession, is a science graduate and has a Master's degree in Economics of Money, Banking and Finance. He has over 29 years of experience in the banking industry