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July 26, 2010    

Is Islamic finance the solution to India’s poverty?

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by David Masters
Is Islamic finance the solution to India's poverty?

A former Supreme Court judge has launched a campaign to introduce Islamic banking and finance to India.

Justice Krishna Iyer said Islamic finance has the potential to offer sustainable growth while reducing inequality.

“Islamic finance has proven successful in poverty alleviation and promoting sustainable growth in many countries,” he said.

“It is very relevant in our country where 20 million people are starving.”

He criticised those who oppose Islamic banking on religious grounds and those who argue Islamic financial models are not viable.

“The interest-free Islamic finance is a better option for countries like India,” he said.

“People may doubt whether this system can survive without taking interest.

“But I can tell you that a system that supports social development will never fail.”

Iyer made the comments at a gathering of financial experts in the Kerala city of Kochi. He also announced plans to hold an international seminar in Kochi later this year on the prospect of introducing Islamic finance to India.

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