ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Tuesday approved the Shariah Advisors Regulations, 2017 to enhance the credibility of Islamic financial services sector.

According to reports, framed under the Companies Act, 2017, these regulations will discipline and professionalize ‘Shariah’ advisory in Pakistan.

According to regulations, companies and entities will engage only the ‘Shariah’ advisors registered with the SECP.

To register, ‘Shariah’ advisors will need to meet proper criteria and abide by a code of professional behavior that emphasizes objectivity, integrity and independence of a professional ‘Shariah’ advisor.

The regulations have been formulated after an extensive consultation process with representatives of Shariah advisors, Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) Malaysia, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP), takaful operators, modaraba and NBFI Association, Mutual Funds Association of Pakistan, and Shariah Board of the SECP.

It may be added that the SECP regulates various important elements of Islamic financial services industry.

These elements include Islamic mutual and pension funds, modarabas and NBFIs, takaful operators, Shariah-compliant companies, Shariah-compliant securities, Shariah-compliant real estate investment trusts, and Shariah-compliant indices.

Some of these elements have shown impressive growth. For instance, the share of Shariah-compliant assets of NBFI sector has grown from 12.3% in June 2010 to 34.6% as of June 2017.