By P.K. Abdul Ghafour
HYDERABAD — Muslim NGOs in India will be able to make use of Islamic Development Bank’s Awqaf Properties Investment Fund (APIF) to develop their endowments and generate funds required for the various community development projects, said Zafar Javeed, national convener of IDB’s central panel for special assistance based in Hyderabad.
“This option is open and we have started working on how to make use of this IDB fund. We are in the process of identifying viable endowment projects. I am confident that APIF will come to India,” Javeed told Saudi Gazette.
He hoped that APIF could be received through a national corporation that can accept international funding.
“We look forward to all these things happening in the near future. It will make our institutions self sufficient, generating funds for new educational, health and welfare projects,” Javeed said while highlighting prospects of APIF, which was established by IDB in 2001 to invest in economically and financially viable projects in member and non-member countries.
Javeed commended IDB group for financing about 300 educational and health-related projects across India over the past three decades.
“IDB has been rendering yeomen service by helping Muslim NGOs in India to establish educational and health institutions. They came at the right time in 1980s when we were in dire need of such facilities.”
He added: “I am pleased to say that all the projects funded by IDB are doing very well even today. Those who have received assistance in 1980s are still rendering good services to the community. I would say IDB is a big blessing for the Muslim community and the entire Muslims of India are grateful to the bank for its services,” he stated.
The central panel chief requested IDB to allocate more funds for India. “Our requirement is huge being the second largest country in Muslim population after Indonesia. “Although we are not a member country, still we receive a lot of support from the bank. IDB does not have offices in non-member countries and India is an exception,” he said.
Javeed said there are many projects in the pipeline awaiting IDB aid.
“Many deserving communities in Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, UP and other states are looking for IDB finance as they are very much lagging in terms of education and health facilities.” He praised the government for its continuous support for IDB-funded projects.
Referring to ongoing efforts to introduce interest-free banking and finance in India, Javeed said former RBI governor Reghuram Rajan had hinted at introducing the system to achieve inclusive development.
“If that happens it would be a great boon and IDB would be able to play a significant role in backing this program, which will bring the much-needed funds for India’s infrastructure projects,” he added.