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Speed up Islam pension bill, house urged

Steve Umidha @steveumidhya

CPF financial services has called on the National Assembly to begin debate on the County Pension Scheme Bill 2017 meant to come up with regulations for Islamic pension products for thousands of Muslim staff in counties and non-Muslims across the country.

The county employees’ pension fund pleaded Friday with leader of majority in Parliament Aden Duale to speedily lead discussions on grounds that its non-existence was locking several Muslims from investing in such financial products that conform to their Islamic faith.

“We already have a draft bill that is presently in Parliament awaiting debate. The earlier a debate on the Bill is undertaken, the faster this lot that is today locked out from such crucial financial instruments, will have something to pride themselves in,” said CFP group managing director Hosea Kili.

“It is our hope that Parliament embarks on the Bill soon after recess,” said Kili who was speaking during the launch of a new Sharia’h compliant pension product, Salih which is included in the pension scheme bill.

The Bill, currently at the committee stage, seeks to among other factors, enforce mandatory pension for all Kenyans while at the same time offering Muslims with pension products that conform to Sharia principles – that prohibits interests or riba and investments in non-permissible undertakings such as alcohol and gambling.

If allowed to pass the regulatory checks and balance, Duale said the law could immensely open the country’s financial market by consolidating the industry to challenge the dominance of conventional financial services as well as boost efforts by the State in the issuance of Islamic bonds or Sukuks and further boost both insurance and pension penetration levels.

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