KARACHI - State Bank of Pakistan Governor Yaseen Anwar has stressed upon the Islamic finance industry to make individual as well as collaborative efforts to develop Islamic microfinance in the country.   

Addressing opening session of the Islamic Finance News Pakistan Road show on Islamic Banking held at the State Bank of Pakistan, Karachi on Tuesday, he said Islamic microfinance, a confluence of two industries; Islamic finance and microfinance, can not only be an efficient tool for financial inclusion by catering to both voluntary and involuntary financially excluded but also towards poverty reduction due to its inherent characteristic of being prudent and asset based.

He said that financial inclusion is one of the key strategic objectives of SBP and emphasized the industry to develop capacity to tap strategically important sectors of agriculture and SMEs and create value for shareholders, depositors, and the country’s economy as a whole. He assured SBP will provide every support and facilitation to the industry in efforts to build and expand its portfolio in these sectors.

Yaseen Anwar emphasized the critical importance of investment in research and development particularly for the evolving sectors of Islamic finance. The research and development is also needed to develop solutions for bringing monetary and fiscal policies and practices in conformity with Shariah principles.

The strategic plan for the next five years has envisaged a number of such initiatives and expressed the hope that the collaborative efforts by the regulator and practitioners would be instrumental in improving investment in R&D and developing better solutions for serving the financing needs of the real economy, he added.