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ISLAMBAD: In order to enhance the credibility of Islamic financial services sector, Securities and Ex­change Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has app­ro­ved the Sharia Advisers Regulations 2017.

Framed under the Companies Act 2017, these regulations will discipline and professionalise Sharia advisory in Pakistan. Companies and entities will engage only Sharia advisers registered with the SECP.

To register, Sharia advisers will need to meet fit and proper criteria and abide by a code of professional behavior that emphasises objectivity, integrity and independence of a professional Sharia adviser.

The regulations have been formulated after an extensive consultation process with representatives of Sharia advisers, Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) Malaysia, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP), takaful operators, modaraba and NBFI Association, Mutual Funds Association of Pakistan, and Sharia Board of the SECP.

It may be added that the SECP regulates various important elements of Islamic financial services industry.

These elements include Islamic mutual and pension funds, modarabas and NBFIs, takaful operators, Sharia-compliant companies, Sharia-compliant sec­u­r­ities, real estate investment trusts, and indices.

The SECP has said that some of these elements have shown impressive growth, such as the share of Sharia-compliant ass­e­ts of NBFI sector grew from 12.3 per cent in June 2010 to 34.6pc by June 2017.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2017