Published:  12:00 AM, 20 March 2017

All state-owned banks are sick, says Muhith

All state-owned banks are sick, says Muhith Abul Maal Abdul Muhith

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith has termed all state-owned banks as sick organizations while he has assessed Basic Bank as the sickest one.  He made these observations while speaking to reporters on Sunday at the Secretariat after a meeting with higher officials from different state-owned commercial banks.  He has commented that all state-owned banks are suffering with various problems and shortcomings. However, he has added Basic Bank's problems are different from other banks.

This bank needs more nursing, the Finance Minister has further said. While referring to Basic Bank, Finance Minister
has said discussion on Basic Bank takes most of the time as this bank has been facing most complications.  Problems with Sonali Bank, Agrani Bank and other state-owned banks were also discussed in the meeting.  Basic Bank was once upon a time a profitable bank but its status began to go down when Abdul Hai Bachchu was appointed its Chairman in 2009. Allegedly during his time approximately four thousand crore taka was plundered from this state-owned bank from 2009 to 2014.

Abdul Hai Bachchu resigned in 2014 because of mounting pressure on him triggered by various allegations. The government has already paid 2 thousand 300 crore taka to Basic Bank to recover it from capital deficit.  Abul Maal Abdul Muhith has also said those who siphoned off money from Basic Bank have been identified though it was a tough job. He has further added that efforts are being made to improve the condition of Basic Bank and commented that Finance Ministry is working to figure out how long it may take to tackle this bank's drawbacks.

The finance minister also said Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) would take actions against those responsible for Basic Bank's scams. He told the reporters that this discussion would go on as no decision had yet been taken regarding the issues concerned. While answering a question about capital shortfall, the finance minister said the budgetary capacity would be evaluated by next month to address the problem of capital deficit in state-owned banks.

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