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Majlis Told to Suspend Banking Reform Bill

Majlis Told to Suspend Banking Reform BillMajlis Told to Suspend Banking Reform Bill

Central Bank of Iran Governor Valiollah Seif has urged parliament to suspend the controversial banking reform bill due to be debated by lawmakers in the coming days.  

Behrooz Bonyadi, a newly-elected MP, said the governor had sent a letter to Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani on Monday, announcing his objection to the proposed bill,” Eghtesadnews.com reported.

“The government and the CBI do not approve of the bill,” Bonyadi said.

“Although the banking sector had not had a stellar performance in recent years, overhauling rules should not add to the problems [of the banking sector].”

The draft version of the banking reform bill was sent to the lawmaking body in mid-April, though it was supposed to be finalized during the previous administration whose tenure ended in 2013. 

Informed sources say the government wants the bill debated in the incoming parliament in which the majority reportedly comprises of pro-government legislators, or as some say “possibly less antagonistic” toward the Rouhani administration.   The current parliament– with the majority MPs having failed to be reelected – seems determined to pass the bill before its tenure ends in late May.

 Among other things, the draft bill proposes founding a body at the CBI  to supervise the reh banks’ compliance with Sharia-based regulations. The body would comprise the CBI governor, his deputy for supervisory affairs, five Muslim clerics with expertise in banking and monetary issues and a legal expert.

Simplifying banking services, improving efficiency, adjusting interest rates with real economic conditions and upholding Islamic banking norms are among other measures envisioned in the bill.

Bonyadi criticized that CBI for falling short in improving the banking sector. However, he admitted that the bank had “managed to stabilize markets and lower the rate of inflation.”

Financialtribune.com