KARACHI - The first Shariah Board meeting of Rafah National Savings (Islamic Wing of Central Directorate of National Savings, CDNS) (RNS) was conducted in Karachi the other day. Hamid Raza Khalid (Director General, CDNS) and Junaid Ahmed (CEO, Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan) also attended the meeting on special invitation.

The meeting was presided by esteemed Shariah Board members of RNS comprising of Dr. Muhammad Imran Ashraf Usmani (Chairman), Mufti Irshad Ahmad Ijaz, Mufti Muhammad Hassaan Kaleem and Mian Muhammad Nazir. The RNS Shariah Board also includes two, non-voting, technical members namely Javed Iqbal Khan, Joint Secretary Budget who is also looking after DG Debt Office, Finance Division and Asad Bilal, Joint Director (RNS). The RNS Shariah Board also approved the appointment of Syed Sitwat Rizvi as Technical Coordinator & Secretary Shariah Board.

Addressing the esteemed Shariah Board members of RNS, Javed Iqbal Khan (Joint Secretary-Budget) and Hamid Raza Khalid (Director General, CDNS) provided the detailed overview of CDNS-RNS and thanked the management of Finance Division and Dar Al Sharia Islamic Finance Consultancy (a subsidiary of Dubai Islamic Bank) for providing their extraordinary support to CDNS in this landmark initiative of conceptualizing and operationalizing the Islamic wing of CDNS and the products to be offered thereunder.

The Shariah Board deliberated and approved the structure of RNS along with two Shariah compliant products namely Sarwa Islamic Savings Account (SISA) and Sarwa Islamic Term Account (SITA) which includes four investment tenor options of 1 year, 3 years, 5 years and 10 years. The products comply with the Sarwa Islamic Savings Account Rules 2019, which had already been approved by the Federal Cabinet.

The underlying Shariah Structure under the approved Sharia products to be offered by RNS is on the basis of the Islamic principles of Wakalah Bil Istithmar (Investment Agency) where-under RNS will channel the proceeds raised from the general public (investors) and appoint the Government of Pakistan (acting through Ministry of Finance) for collection and investment of funds in Shariah approved Musharakah Assets Portfolio to be managed by Ministry of Finance as an investment agent.

The Director General of CDNS confirmed that RNS will be formally offering the approved Shariah compliant products to the public very shortly.

Speaking on behalf of Dar Al Sharia Islamic Finance Consultancy, Mian Muhammad Nazir thanked the Director General of CDNS for the opportunity to assist CDNS in launching RNS, which will provide an effective avenue of financial inclusion and social security for the people of Pakistan through products that are in adherence with the principles of Sharia under the guidance of Sharia Board of the RNS.