Bank-e-Millie Afghan on Sunday said it is hoping to introduce a new home-loan system for Afghans in the near future – a first for Afghanistan in more than 16 years. Officials at the Bank-e-Millie Afghan said they have drawn up plans for mortgage loans and repayment schemes within the framework of Islamic banking. The bank said the draft plan has been sent to the ministry of finance and The Afghanistan Bank. "Bank-e-Millie Afghan's Islamic banking (for mortgages) will soon start – within one or two months - on the basis of this, people will be able to take out long term loans for mortgages," said Rahimullah Oriakhail Marketing Manager at Bank-e-Millie Afghan. Many people are forced to pay high prices for rental houses as they do not have the cash to buy property. According to the Central Statistic Organization (CSO) more than one million people live in rented houses in Kabul alone. A number of economists in the country have meanwhile welcomed the move and said that having mortgages available to the public is a step towards financial security for families and a solution to the housing shortage. "The duration for mortgage loans (to be repaid) must be approximately 20 years because people's buying power is low and poverty and the unemployment rate is high," said Mohammad Bashir Bashiri an economist.
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