Criteria for Shariah Advisor

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SBP issues revised criteria for Islamic banks 'Shariah Advisers'

RECORDER REPORT

KARACHI (March 21 2007): The State Bank of Pakistan has issued the criteria for appointment of 'Shariah Advisers' and made it obligatory for banks to ensure that 'advisers' hold minimum Shahadat ul Aalmia degree, or postgraduate degree in Islamic Jurisprudence/Usooluddin, or equivalent from any recognised university with exposure to banking and finance.

On Tuesday a notification of the Bank said that in supersession of IBD Circular No 3 of October 26, 2004, revised 'Fit and Proper Criteria' for Shariah Advisors of Islamic Banking Institutions and SAP-Form were being introduced with immediate effect. The revised guidelines/formats shall henceforth be used by all IBIs desiring to appoint a 'Shariah Advisor' for related evaluation and submission of information to SBP for prior clearance.

In terms of the revised criteria, inter alia, Shariah Advisor will not hold any executive/non-executive position in any other financial institution, except working as 'Shariah Advisor' of Islamic mutual funds of the same IBI. In case Shariah Advisor of an IBI is already working on some executive/non-executive position in any other financial institution, except as Shariah Advisor of Islamic mutual funds of the same IBI, the position should be regularised within a period of six months by relinquishing either of the posts.

To update the database of Shariah Advisors of IBIs in Pakistan, all existing IBIs have been advised to submit information about their Shariah Advisor in the format provided in revised SAP-Form, within 30 days of issuance of the Circular.

Moreover, Shariah Advisors of all IBIs will have to sign a declaration, as per format, before assuming office. The declaration will be kept on record with the IBI. For existing Shariah Advisors, the declaration, as per format, will have to be obtained immediately and placed on record.

The laid down criteria are in respect of...
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