Will need RBI permission for Islamic banking: JK Bank chief

The Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Mushtaq Ahmad Wednesday said that there was scope for Islamic banking in the state but it needs to be understood in its right perspective first.

“Reserve Bank of India has authority to give permission for the Islamic banking. But we have not approached them yet,” Mushtaq said.

However, he said implementing Islamic banking in Jammu and Kashmir was completely different from Middle East. “We have to take permission from the RBI first,” he added.

The Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had recently called for abolition of ‘interest-based’ banking, and pitched for introduction of Islamic banking in the state.

He had asked the state-owned J&K Bank to take steps in this regard.

Addressing a Friday gathering at Jamia Masjid on Friday, Mirwaiz had said there was no place for ‘interest-based banking’ in Jammu and Kashmir, a Muslim majority state, and the J&K Bank should play its role in introducing Islamic banking here.

Senior Congress leader and Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Taj Mohi-ud-Din supported idea of Islamic banking in the state. “If guidelines of RBI permit it, state government has no objection,” he said.

Opposition Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti said people should have a choice in deciding it. “Islamic banking should be available and it should be left to people to decide what they want. Islamic banking is gaining popularity in West also. We aren’t supporting it because J&K is a Muslim majority state, but it is a positive development,” she told KNS.

Senior PDP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beig said that a group of citizens should approach the RBI with a plea to start Islamic banking in the state. “Then only it can be permitted,” he said.

Reacting to Mirwaiz’s statement that J&K Bank should take steps in this regard, he said, “Miwaiz isn’t correct. J&K Bank can’t do it on its own. They have to take permission from the RBI and it can only happen when citizens of the state will approach them (RBI),” he added.