Dubai: Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is keen to develop Waqf properties in India and the two sides have explored ways to cooperate in different fields including launching of Islamic banking in the country, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha K Rahman Khan has said.
Khan, who held a series of meetings with IDB officials including its chief Ahmad Muhammad Ali in Jeddah, also lauded the bank's enthusiasm to boost ties with India.
"The Jeddah-based bank is optimistic of working with the Indian government for the upliftment of Muslims and the people of India," Khan, a prominent Muslim leader, was quoted as saying by the Arab News.
"We discussed Islamic banking in India, thousands of hectares of Waqf properties and lastly educational infrastructure," he said.
"There's skepticism about the Islamic banking system in India and that needs to be tackled through dissemination of information and I believe the proposed conference will help clear misconceptions," Khan stated.
The bank is keen to initiate Islamic banking through Tabung Haji system ? Malaysia's pioneering effort in Haj management. If India adopts this system, the bank is ready to provide all assistance, the newspaper reported.
Khan said the bank is willing to finance not only Waqf properties in India but also to develop seven Rubaats (Haj shelters) in Makkah for pilgrims' accommodation.
"The proposal to construct multi-storied buildings in place of seven Rubaats is worth considering. I will discuss this proposal with the caretakers of these Rubaats in India.
We have 200,000 hectares of Waqf land in India and IDB is willing to help develop it," he said.
On education, Khan stressed India is a knowledge destination of the 21st century and offers wide-ranging educational facilities.
"This will get a further boost with the opening of around 500 new universities in next 10 years," he said.
The bank is hoping to tap this potentially-viable sector. It already provides USD 43 million worth of scholarships through its assistance programme to 262 institutions. The two sides explored the possibilities of jointly promoting a virtual university to cater to the growing needs of thousands of people in both countries.
On primary level, IDB wants to fund existing madrassas (religious schools), which will be linked to the National Council of Open Schools, to make them competitive, and on secondary level, it wants to promote a virtual university system.
First Published: Monday, September 19, 2011, 15:33