13 July 2024

MPs blast govt for state of banking sector, corruption in administration

Mazharul Islam Mitchel

Published: 02:40, 3 July 2024

MPs blast govt for state of banking sector, corruption in administration

Three opposition and independent MPs on Tuesday (2 July) blasted the government for the deplorable condition of the banking and financial sector.

Jatiya Party MP Hafiz Uddin Ahmed, and two independent MPs—Pankaj Nath and Hamidul Haque Khandker alleged that when it comes to financial institutions and banks, panic grips among everyone.

"Interest waivers are being given to big companies on lame excuses. Bangladesh Bank cannot exercise its powers in this regard," they complained.

The lawmakers made this strong criticism while participating in the discussion during passage of the 'Payment and Settlement Bill-2024' in the parliament.

However, Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali did not respond to the criticism of the MPs.

Participating in the debate on the bill, Pankaj Nath highlighted the report of a national daily on the interest waiver of four industrial establishments.

"Tk6,497 crores interest waived for four institutions for not complying with the rules. Special approval of Bangladesh Bank was required. I will not go into detail, I will not say the names of the organizations."

Pankaj Nath said that this special approval given by Bangladesh Bank, the state-owned bank - Janata Bank is dying.

Criticising the interest waiver, Pankaj Nath said that natural calamities, death of borrowers are causing the interest to be waived. But nothing happened, not even a disaster. Interest waivers have been given with dubious and lame excuses.

Without mentioning the name of Matiur Rahman, Pankaj Nath said that the name of a controversial person is being discussed every day due to corruption.

"One person holds three to four important positions in the state, from a government bank, director of NBR, chairman of appellate tribunal. The controversy over his political identity started 15 years ago."

He questioned who recommended his name to go to these important positions.

"The ghost remains within the mustard. No one can remove this ghost except the Prime Minister."

In the discussion of the bill, Jatiya Party MP Hafiz Uddin Ahmed said that PK Halder had left for India with the smuggled money.

Many companies are bankrupt today. It is not clear whether there is a provision in this law or not for those who have deposited money in the leasing company and will get it back. The law is there but there is enforcement of the law.

Hafiz Uddin said that Bangladesh Bank cannot exercise its power. The bank has become like a frog's umbrella. 10-20 banks are closed today. Their financial condition is fragile.

Hamidul Haque Khandker said, when it comes to our financial institutions and banks, everyone gets panicked.