Is­lamic bank­ing is here, thanks to BJP’s co- op min­is­ter

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Dhaval Kulka­rni dhaval. kulka­rni@ dnain­dia. net

Mum­bai: In a first in the main­stream bank­ing sec­tor in Ma­ha­rash­tra, a co­op­er­a­tive bank con­trolled by BJP leader and state co­op­er­a­tion min­is­ter Sub­hash Desh­mukh has launched Shari­a­com­pli­ant Is­lamic bank­ing. Here, in­ter­est- free de­posits will be ac­cepted from both Mus­lims and nonMus­lims and dis­trib­uted largely to the needy from the mi­nor­ity com­mu­nity at zero rates of in­ter­est to en­sure their fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion.

So far, the Lok­man­gal Co­op­er­a­tive Bank Ltd, con­trolled by Desh­mukh, has dis­trib­uted Rs 2.50 lakh to poor Mus­lims through the route. The co­op­er­a­tion min­is­ter will now call on other banks and fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions in Ma­ha­rash­tra to fol­low suit and adopt this model, which is also re­ferred to as “par­tic­i­pa­tory bank­ing”.

“Un­der Is­lamic bank­ing pol­icy, de­pos­i­tors are not paid in­ter­est. Sim­i­larly the bor­row­ers too will not be charged any in­ter­est for the money lent,” Desh­mukh, who is the chair­man of the bank, told dna. The bank has nine branches, in­clud­ing eight in So­la­pur and one in Pune, and Desh­mukh, a MLA from So­la­pur ( South), said all of them would get a sep­a­rate counter for such Is­lamic, in­ter­est- free de­posits and loans.

Desh­mukh added that dur­ing the in­au­gu­ra­tion of a branch of his bank at Barshi in So­la­pur this week, he was called upon to adopt the model, af­ter which he an­nounced it. Two per­sons, in­clud­ing a Hindu, then con­trib­uted Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50,000 as in­ter­est- free de­posits.

“I then said that by evening, this money will be dis­trib­uted free of in­ter­est, based on their rec­om­men­da­tions,” he said, adding that the money was given to 12 needy peo­ple.

“We will see if the Re­serve Bank of In­dia ( RBI) or Govern­ment of In­dia come out with rules in this re­gard... we will have to take some nom­i­nal ser­vice charge ( from bor­row­ers) for ( ad­min­is­tra­tive costs like) staff, elec­tric­ity bills and sta­tionery,” said Desh­mukh, adding that even if they were not al­lowed to charge this nom­i­nal ser­vice fee, they would con­tinue giv­ing out in­ter­est- free loans.

Desh­mukh with CM Fad­navis dur­ing the swear­ing in ( FILE PIC)

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