Businessmen ask government to start Islamic banks in India

Some leading Muslim businessmen from Uttar Pradesh have asked the government to allow Islamic banking in India. In this regard, a proposal has been submitted to the Planning Commission by them for setting up Islamic Development Bank, which would not charge interest on loans etc, under Islamic norms.

Islamic Development Bank is headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and it does not run from the interest income. Also, the money from the bank can not be used for financing businesses related to liquor, pornography etc. This is being run by the Organisation of Islamic Countries.

« There is a need to open such banks in India as Islam considers interest as ‘haraam’ (unethical) and therefore, Muslims are reluctant to take loans from the banks as interest is charged in such banks, » member of Islamic Development Bank Mohammad Ishaak told PTI News Agency.

He said one of the reasons for widespread poverty among Muslims was that they were not open to taking loans from the banks. He added that 140 million Muslims of the country will be able to do business once they start getting interest-free loans. « Therefore, we have sent a proposal to Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia so that we can also start an Islamic banking with the help of Islamic Development Bank in Saudi Arabia, » he said.

The Economic Times (India) 18 May, 2008

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