Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has announced the launch of Shariah-compliant investment products in Pakistan, in an effort to promote Islamic finance and eventually eliminate the interest-based financial system. The products, which will be offered by National Savings from July 1st, include saving accounts and term accounts with different tenors. Dar highlighted the growth of Islamic banking in recent years, which currently holds a 21% share in the country’s banking sector. He acknowledged that the entire banking system cannot be converted to Islamic finance overnight, but these steps towards an interest-free system are crucial. Dar also assured that the government will fulfill all promises made in the recent budget, which included the introduction of Shariah-compliant products. In addition, the government has made revisions to the budget to meet the conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme. However, Dar emphasized that these changes will not impact the development budget, or the salary and pension increases for government employees.
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