Nazrul Islam Mazumder
Bank high-ups have skipped the meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Undertakings yesterday. The meeting was called to discuss about the updates implementing the single digit interest rate in the banks. Expressing disappointment, the committee members said though one of the bankers said over phone that he was on the way, none actually appeared at the end.
Chairman of the committee ASM Feroz brief the press after the meeting. He said the meeting began 11:00 am and continued around 2:00 pm. "None of them appeared," said Feroz. Managing Directors of the state-owned banks, Association of Bankers, Bangladesh Limited (ABB) and Bangladesh Association of Banks (BAB) chairman Nazrul Islam Mazumder were invited to the talk. While asked about attending the meeting, more than five bankers told The Asian Age that they were unable to act independently as BAB did not issued any directives.
"Mr Mazumder said he would manage the issue himself," said a banker in condition of anonymity. Meantime, coming down hard on the absent officials, ASM Feroz noted: "They are not keeping the promise to slash the interest rate to single digit. There also was a long conversation. The committee has expressed its concern over the issue today."
"They demanded the government 50 percent of the total deposits in order to tackle the liquidity crisis and bringing the interest rate down. It's frustrating that they took the facility and brushed aside the condition," said MP Feroz. The committee has asked the central bank to intervene immediately.
"Bangladesh Bank has asked to implement the single digit interest policy by next two months - as the PM talked about previously. The scheduled banks have to sign separate pacts with the central bank in this regard." Committee members Mostafizur Rahman, Narayon Chandra Chanda, Md Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Mirza Azam and Muhammad Nazrul Islam attended the meeting.
The meeting held discussion on measures taken by Bangladesh Bank and other state-owned banks to reopen closed and inoperative mills and realize classified loans.The parliamentary watchdog was informed that so far 279 garment industries and 411 non textile institutions were identified as sick industries.
According to available information, The Finance Ministry has declared a special flexible loan payment package, including subsidiary in interest, for 426 industries (non-textile). Under the package, most of the loans have been settled.
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