Tk1.26 Lakh Crore Loans Defaulted As Of March: Finance Minister

Representational Image: Collected

Representational Image: Collected

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday said the amount of defaulted loans in the country is Tk126,369 crore, reports UNB.

Apart from this, another Tk21,046 crore is stuck due to the order of the high court, as banks and financial institutions are not able to realise.

The minister said this while responding to a tabled question from ruling party lawmaker elected from Chattogram M Abdul Latif.

He said that the amount of defaulted loans of all banks and financial institutions of the country in the CIB database till March 2022 is Tk1,26,389 crore. 

Highlighting the steps taken by the government to identify defaulting customers and bring them under the law, the finance minister said that cases were being filed against loan defaulters.

He said that a defaulter of one bank cannot take loan from another bank. Banks have been advised to use alternative dispute resolution methods to recover loans.

He also said that the Bank Company Act will be amended where intentional loan defaulters will fave various types of restricts.

Replying to a question from ruling party MP elected from Jamalpur Abul Kalam Azad, the finance minister said there was no specific information on money laundering from Bangladesh. 

It is very difficult to determine the amount of money laundering, he said.

He mentioned that various development agencies and research institutes use different methods to estimate the amount of money laundered from Bangladesh and abroad. 

Even those institutions do not demand its appropriateness, he added.

The reports of these organisations contain conflicting information on the amount of money laundered from Bangladesh. 

However, the minister said, regardless of the level or amount of money laundering from the country, the government is committed to stopping the possible sources of smuggling as well as prevent money laundering and bring the smuggled money back to Bangladesh and all government agencies are working together to this end.

The minister also said the present government has been working hard to bring back the smuggled money since taking power. In the meantime, 20,41,534 Singaporean dollars has been returned on 20 November, 2012 which was smuggled to Singapore.

He said that legal action was being taken to recover the money from Bangladesh on the basis of specific information. 

In this case, he mentioned Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) has been collecting information from foreign financial intelligence agencies about the smuggled or smuggled money and supplying it to various investigating agencies including the Anti-Corruption Commission, CID of Bangladesh Police and National Board of Revenue. 

The Anti-Corruption Commission is currently investigating a number of cases involving the purchase of flats or houses or money laundering in other ways abroad (such as Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia, United Kingdom, United States and Canada). 

In addition, Mustafa Kamal said, several cases related to trafficking filed by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Bangladesh Police are ongoing.

On the other hand, an inter-agency task force led by the Attorney General is working to recover the smuggled money to bring the smuggled assets back to Bangladesh.

Responding to a question from ruling AL MP from reserved women seat, Rumana Ali, the finance minister said, "Bangladesh will not become bankrupt like Sri Lanka, In Sha Allah."

He said Bangladesh's economy stands on a strong and solid foundation. "Our macroeconomic variables are very strong."

The finance minister said most of Sri Lanka's foreign loans were taken under commercial and sovereign bonds, which interest rates are high and has to be repaid in five years with the interest.

On the other hand, the repayment period of Bangladesh's foreign loans is much longer and at lower interest rates. The Bangladesh government has no sovereign bond.

He said the current debt situation in Bangladesh is tolerable and sustainable and there is no major risk like Sri Lanka in the medium and long term period.

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