Istisna – Mode of Financing
Istisna can be used for providing the facility of financing in certain transactions, especially in the house finance sector. If the client has his own land and he seeks financing for the construction of a house, the financier may undertake to construct the house at that open land, on the basis of istisna, and if the client has no land and he wants to purchase the land also, the financier may undertake to provide him a constructed house on a specified piece of land.
Since it is not necessary in istisna that the price is paid in advance, nor is it necessary that it is paid at the time of delivery, (it may be deferred to any time according to the agreement of the parties), therefore, the time of payment may be fixed in whatever manner they wish. The payment may also be in instalments.
On the other hand, it is not necessary that the financier himself constructs the house. He can enter into a parallel contract of istisna with a third party, or may hire the services of a contractor (other than the client). In both cases, he can calculate his cost and fix the price of istisna with his client in a manner which may give him a reasonable profit over his cost. The payment of instalments by the client may start, in this case, right from the day when the contract of istisna is signed by the parties, and may continue during the construction of the house and after it is handed over to the client. In order to secure the payment of the instalments, the title deeds of the house or land, or any other property of the client may be kept by the financier as a security, until the last instalment is paid by the client.
The financier, in this case, will be responsible for the construction of the house in full conformity with the specifications detailed in the agreement. In the case of any discrepancy, the financier will undertake such alteration at his own cost as may be necessary for bringing it in harmony with the terms of the contract.
The instrument of istisna may also be used for project financing on similar lines. If a client wants to install an air-conditioning plant in his factory, and the plant needs to be manufactured, the financier may undertake to prepare the plant through the contract of istisna according to the aforesaid procedure. Similarly, the contract of istisna can be used for building a bridge or a highway.
The modern BOT (Buy, Operate and Transfer) agreements may also be formalized on the basis of istisna. If a government wants to construct a highway, it may enter into a contract of istisna with a builder. The price of istisna, in this case, may be the right of the builder to operate the highway and collect tolls for a specified period.
Source: Republished with the kind permission of Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani.
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