LAHORE – The interest-free Islamic banking has recorded a robust growth in the country in the last few years and can further expand tremendously with the help of effective legislation and introduction of more products.
These views were expressed by Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad, the Founder Rector of the University of Management and Technology (UMT), Lahore. Dr Hasan, who is also chairman of Association of Management Development Institutions in Pakistan (AMDIP), said that total assets of Islamic banking in Pakistan have grown by 34 per cent to Rs641 billion at the end of last calendar year. Similarly, deposits base has also surged by 34 per cent to Rs521 billion during 2011, he added.
Talking to The Nation, Dr Hasan- the member of International Business Forum, Turkey- said that the market share of Islamic banking has grown tremendously in the overall banking industry. Total assets of Islamic banking are 7.8 per cent of the total banking industry while deposits have 8.4 per cent share in the total banking sector in the country.
Dr Hasan is a renowned scholar of management, philosophy and inventive business studies. Besides his entrepreneurial success in the shape of UMT, he holds 25 silver years of practically diverse experience as he has strived to build world class business support units in the areas of finance, sensitive and defense technology.
Responding to a question, Dr Hasan said “if our universities are behind in ranking it does not mean our teachers and students are not talented. Our competent teachers and talented students can compete with students of any world renowned university,” he claimed.
He said that the allocation of funds for education sector must be on top priority as country needs qualified scientists, researchers and economist to drive the economy forward and increase the rate of economic growth.
There is a dire need to increase the educational budget because without doubling education budget, Pakistan could not address the numerous challenges, The UMT Rector said. He said that government should encourage research in higher education institutions which would accelerate economic growth of the country.
He was of the view that in Pakistan the budget allocated to education was very low. He said that Pakistan was now in just twelve poor countries that spend less than 2 percent of GDP on education.
Referring to a report, he said Cuba spends 18.7 per cent of its GDP, Brunei 9.1 per cent, Iran 4.9 per cent, Sweden 7.7 per cent, the UK 5.3 per cent, the US 5.7 per cent, Malaysia 8.1 per cent, Yemen 9.5 per cent, India about 6 per cent and Pakistan allocates less than 2 per cent of GDP for education sector.
While briefing about UMT, he said that established in 1990 as a project of ILM Trust, the University of Management and Technology has evolved into a premier institution of higher learning in the country. In September 2007, the HEC awarded “W” category to the University, placing it among the few select universities in the country in this category. UMT is also among those universities that are eligible for grants under the National Research Program for Universities (NRPU) by the HEC, he said.
At present, four schools and two institutes are operating under the umbrella of UMT, namely: School of Business and Economics (SBE), School of Science and Technology (SST), School of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH), School of Professional Advancement (SPA), Institute of Textiles and Industrial Sciences (ITIS), and the Institute of Audit and Accountancy (IAA).
He observed that the university has been in the forefront in international education, accreditation and quality.
The university is poised to make great strides in the future. It has already embarked upon an ambitious plan of development and expansion in terms of infrastructure, student enrollment and academic programs offered to them, he added.