‘Media campaign for promotion of Islamic banking soon’
KARACHI: Deputy Governor of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Kazi Abdul Muktadir has said that a comprehensive media campaign for promoting inherent strengths of Islamic finance and clearing common apprehensions, confusions and misconceptions about Islamic banking and finance is being launched shortly, according to a statement issued on Monday.
While chairing a meeting, he said that preliminary findings of SBP’s comprehensive countrywide survey on “Knowledge, attitude and practices of Islamic banking in Pakistan” suggest the dire need for initiating mass awareness campaign to increase public trust and confidence in Islamic banking. SBP deputy governor said that since 2001, the Islamic banking industry has been able to maintain strong momentum with annual growth rate of above 30 percent, a network of 1,100 branches in 79 districts across the country, and market share of approximately 10 percent.
He observed that despite this growth, the industry is still facing many issues and challenges which, among others, include limited human resource capacity and low awareness and understanding of public at large about Islamic banking and its distinction over conventional banking. “The low awareness and understanding has been a major reason for misperceptions and confusions about the need, utility and Shariah permissibility of Islamic finance,” he added. Muktadir set up a seven-member steering committee for launching the media awareness campaign.
“The committee may constitute one or more sub-committees to undertake and execute various components of the media campaign,” he added. He said the State Bank and Islamic banking institutions have taken several initiatives to enhance public awareness about Islamic banking and finance by holding seminars, conferences etc., but no significant effort has so far been made to create mass awareness using electronic and print media.