Sindh assembly wants interest-free wheat procurement

Karachi: Sindh Assembly here Thursday witnessed the government side in a fix when an opposition member observed that the giver and both the receiver of the interest (Riba) are sinners and they would go to the hell, and hence the government of Sindh should ensure interest-free transactions to procure wheat.

Kamran Akhter of MQM during the question hour on food department remarked that interest is against the basic teachings of Islam and it should be avoided. Sardar Ahmed also observed that due to sheer negligence of government officials loans are not paid on time to banks and hence the government of Sindh has to pay huge amounts to the banks in the head of compound interest. He said this expense could be lessened if the bureaucracy ensure timely payment of wheat procurement loans to the banks that are obtaining on interest rate of 15 to 16percent per annum.

However, speaker Sindh assembly Agha Siraj Durrani observed that loans are also being obtained from the banks like World Bank and Asian Development Bank on the basis of interest. He said if our member would insist that these loan providers would go to the hell they may not give you a single penny in future.

However, the food minister Nasir Hussain Shah said that they are trying to make loan payments on time to avoid heavy compound interest of banks. He said the government lacks financial resources to procure wheat; therefore, it gets interest-based loans from the commercial banks.