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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Publish the name of political bank looters : Loan defaulters can't escape

FINANCE Minister AMA Muhith has told the Parliament that the government will consider in future publishing the names, addresses and identities of the bank loan defaulters periodically. The loan defaulters have been causing massive loss to the nation, and gobbled up the money that could be invested in various sectors. Pointing to loan defaulters, he further said that earlier on several occasions he had given list of the loan defaulters in the Parliament. But he never thought of publishing their names and addresses in the newspapers. 'But surely that can be done; I think their names can be published periodically,' Muhith told the Parliament on Wednesday.
In July last year, a list of 100 loan defaulters, including the names of individual businessmen and enterprises, was published. The total amount of their defaulted loan was Tk 1,11,347 crore. Strangely, the loan defaulters did not repay their loans though the list was placed in the Parliament. So, we think the latest announcement of Finance Minister to publish their names and addresses in the newspapers is undoubtedly a good decision. At present, there is no way but to uncover the faces of shameless bank looters in front of the nation.
We are very much confused whether it would be possible to get the loan back from these defaulters ultimately. They are not only shameless, they are powerful too. Most of them keep close link with the stalwarts of ruling party and government high-ups. A number of the defaulters have already fled the country dodging the security agencies. Not only that a big amount of the looted money has reportedly been siphoned off to different foreign bank accounts. For these reasons, the possibility of getting back money from them will be very hard.
There are also widespread allegations that top level officials and directors of some state-run and private commercial banks are directly involved in the issuance of the loans. In most cases, the banks did not take any mortgage against the loan issuance, or made forged mortgage documents to release the loan amounting to several thousand crores of taka. The big loan defaulters have mainly targeted the state-owned banks due to absence of strict administration.
Whereas the marginal income group people, particularly farmers, do not get a small amount of loan from these banks even following the proper way. We have read many stories in the newspapers that farmers were arrested being tied with a rope in their waist for not paying a negligible amount of bank loan. But we have never read any report where a big loan defaulter was caught by the authorities for not paying back public money.
Genuine loan defaulters are not a big problem if they are heard and their problems are genuinely examined. The Finance Minister should have the courage to publish the names of political bank looters like Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, Dr. Syed Mudassar Ali and others.