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RBI Proposes Islamic Window in Banks for Gradual Introduction of Sharia Banking

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

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Reserve Bank of India. VOA

New Delhi, November 20, 2016: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed the introduction of “Islamic window” in the conventional banks for “gradual” start of Sharia-compliant or interest-free banking in the country.

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Both the RBI and Centre are looking for the possibility of the introduction of Islamic banking so as to ensure the financial inclusion of those sections of the society that remain not a part due to mere religious reasons.

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

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“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, according to PTI report.

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“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.

Representational image. Pixabay
Representational image. Pixabay

The central bank’s proposal is based on the examination of legal, regulatory and technical issues regarding the feasibility of introducing the Islamic banking in India on the recommendation of the Inter Departmental Group (IDG).
RBI has also assembled a technical analysis report which has been sent to the Finance Ministry.

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“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.

by NewsGram team with PTI inputs

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RBI Won’t Hesitate on Steps for Financial Stability, Says Governor

Das further said that in a flexible inflation targeting framework, a delicate balance needs to be maintained between inflation and growth objectives

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Reserve Bank of India. VOA

Assuring the crisis-hit NBFC sector will be monitored, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das on Friday said the central bank will not hesitate to take any required measure to maintain the financial stability of the economy.

In a lecture at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, on the “evolving role of central banks”, Das also said that financial stability is major factor considered in the RBI’s monetary policy.

“In the non-banking sector, the Reserve Bank has recently come out with draft guidelines for a robust liquidity framework for the NBFCs. We are also giving a fresh look at their regulatory and supervisory framework. It is our endeavour to have an optimal level of regulation and supervision so that the NBFC sector is financially resilient and robust,” he said.

“The Reserve Bank will continue to monitor the activity and performance of this sector with a focus on major entities and their inter-linkages with other sectors. The Reserve Bank will not hesitate to take any required steps to maintain financial stability,” he added.

Reserve Bank of India. Wikimedia Commons

The liquidity crisis in the non-banking financial companies (NBFC) came to light when IL&FS defaulted on a commercial paper in September.

Das further said that in a flexible inflation targeting framework, a delicate balance needs to be maintained between inflation and growth objectives.

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“Post global financial crisis, it has been recognised that price stability may not be sufficient for financial stability and therefore financial stability has emerged as another key consideration for monetary policy, though jury is still out as to whether it should be added as an explicit objective of monetary policy.

“The fact remains that though the focus of monetary policy is mainly on inflation and growth, the underlying theme has always been financial stability,” the Governor said. (IANS)