** We ask thieves to return the stolen public money as insisted by IMF ** Mango buds start appearing in many trees, in the middle of Poush and the beginning of Magh, has been a great surprise for many mango lovers. This photo was taken from Chattogram on Thursday. NN photo ** CEC estimates 15 to 20 percent by-poll voter turnout in 6 JS seats left vacant by BNP ** Fire guts 4 shops in Chandpur; six burned ** Govt fixes hajj cost at Tk 6,83,018 ** People don't need more government servants to make election cheating easier ** Power tariff further raised at both bulk and retail levels, effective from tomorrow ** Death toll from Pakistan mosque suicide bombing rises to 88 ** We want to know how corruption is to be eliminated under a corrupt government ** Thousands of leaders and activists of BNP join the party's march programme towards Jurain from Jatrabari with banners, festoons, national flags and party flags in their hands on Monday. NN photo ** Awami League leaders and activists gather at a peaceful rally in front of party's central office at Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital on Monday which was arranged by Dhaka South City unit of Awami League. NN photo ** At least 22 dead in Benin bus crash ** Suicide bomber kills 34, wounds 150 at mosque in Pakistan ** 2023 SSC, equivalent exams from April 30 ** Bangladesh reports 14 more dengue cases ** Passenger bus in Pakistan crashes, catches fire killing 40 ** Arab countries must supply weapons to Palestinians so that they can defend themselves against Israel's brutalities ** Walkways are being constructed on both sides of the canal of the Dhaka-Narayanganj-Dhaka (DND) dam at Siddhirganj of Narayanganj as the authorities took a project to develop the dam like Hatirjheel Lake in the capital. NN photo ** Light to moderate fog expect across much of Bangladesh ** New barrage of Russian strikes in Ukraine kills at least 11 ** Israel, Gaza fighters trade fire after deadly West Bank raid ** More delay in change will lead to more miseries for people ** Workers busy preparing stalls for the month-long Amar Ekushey Boi Mela, which is scheduled to begin on the Bangla Academy premises and part of Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital from February 1. NN photo ** Israel army kills nine Palestinians ** USAID announces $75 million assistance for Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar, host community **

In corruption-driven economy one can't punish big loan defaulters

29 November 2022
In corruption-driven economy one can't punish big loan defaulters

Editorial Desk :
The big loan defaulters who have brought Bangladesh's banking sector to its present precarious state are a big problem for its economy, Yet they have consistently received government's patronage. In most cases, the loan defaulters are the core people of the Awami League and the government. Though they have devastated the economy for more than a decade neither Bangladesh Bank nor the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) ever tried to bring them to book.
These offenders have always remained beyond the periphery of law, and the High Court on Sunday appreciably asked the ACC - its lawyer Khurshid Alam in particular - why the anti-corruption watchdog dilly-dallied to bring the defaulters to face justice. The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khijir Hayat Lizu asked this question when they were hearing a writ petition filed by ACC seeking cancellation of bail granted to a former official of Shahjalal Islami Bank who have allegedly embezzled Tk 110 crore.
Contrary to our expectation that the big loan defaulters    
would face punishment, the government reschedules their loan of thousands of crores taka on easy terms. As if they have a right to use to and not return.not to back.the public money as theirs! The HC pertinently asked the ACC, "Will the big loan defaulters remain untouched? The commission is busy catching small time loan defaulters, but not the major ones?"
While making these observations, the judges must have in their mind a suspicious loan grant from the Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) of Tk 2,460 crore which the circles within the bank described  as 'dangerous November' for the bank. In this month the IBBL provided this money to companies, some of which reportedly exist only in paper. Giving such a huge amount of money within just 17 days seemed very unusual and it is apprehended that much of the money has already been laundered out of the country.
The IBBL, the most reputed bank of the country, is now suffering a trust deficit among its clients. It is now open knowledge that after the government stepped into the IBBL for political reasons about a decade ago, the bank fell prey to companies owned by businessmen directly linked to the party in power. After the Hallmark scam, Sonali Bank, Janata Bank, BASIC bank became the targets of easy borrowing. Now the Sharia-based banks are their targets. Economists are doubtful whether loans given by the IBBL and two other Islami banks would get the money back.    
In contrast, small loan defaulters are under tight pressure from banks and too eager to sell the properties at lower prices without considering the dire condition of the economy of the country.

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