Tuesday, January 23, 2018 | ePaper

Defaulted loans rising from political connection

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DEFAULTED loans in the banking sector are spreading growing concerns about the stability of the country's banks and financial institutions. It recorded a rise of over 191 percent in the past eight years and a big shoot in recent years, although it started much earlier. The situation is only worsening under political shelter instead of any attempt by the government to improve governance in the banking sector. Bank loan is an easier way now of amassing illegal wealth but it can't go this way. 

That said - it is clear that the deviant rise is directly linked with politically linked loan sanctioning and illegal capital flight as both have marked substantial rise in recent years. What is frustrating is that the Finance Minister at one point blames bad loans destroying the banking sector while on another occasions he takes it lightly saying grabbing of Tk 4000 crore as such from a bank is a small money. Even on Wednesday, he said capital flight from the country is not too big which rose by 19 percent last year to Swiss Bank alone when India was substantially able to reduce it.  

Vested interest groups have already grabbed almost all state owned banks and grabbing deposits from private banks now; which they control as family banks. It is clear that ruling party politics and loan sanctioning have direct links. What is at stake is depositors' money while the country is losing huge resources that could be used for development.

We have requisite laws and law courts as we see to recover bad loans but they are not functioning because they are not allowed to function. Powerful people around the government are not allowing it to function. So defaulted loans are growing and capital flights are soaring. The government is keeping its eye almost shut.
The non-recovered loans now stands at Tk 1, 11,347 crore and the point is why the government is failing to stop faulty loan sanctioning and money laundering from banks. Why it is failing to show success in the recovery of defaulted loans. The public has the right to know about it.

Finance Minister has told the Parliament that more than two lakh individuals or companies are defaulters in the country but he had no courage even to name the top 100 although he mentioned about them. We must say mere voicing concern will not serve any purpose unless the government takes strong resolve to recover the bad loans. Its political weakness is deterring it from bringing pressure on powerful people and business houses to repay the loans. 

We must say defaulters are by no means loyal friends or supporters of the regime except the fact that they are using political cover to grab money from banks. The government must prove its credibility to the people without sheltering people grabbing banks and financial institutions.


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