The government on Wednesday disbursed Tk 2,000 crore for state-owned banks including scam-hit Sonali and Janata Banks ignoring severe criticism from different quarters.
According to a notification from the finance division on the day, Sonali and Janata were given Tk 400 crore each from the fund kept in the outgoing fiscal budget.
Sonali Bank, which failed to recover a single penny of Tk 3,500 crore gulped by little known Hallmark Group in 2013, has been given Tk 3,405 crore in four phases.
Janata Bank, facing loan scam of over Tk 5,000 crore extended to little known AnonTex Group, has so far received Tk 1,214 crore bailout fund.
Other state-owned banks Rupali Bank received Tk 300 crore from the latest disbursement and Tk 400 crore was given to Bangladesh Krishi Bank.
Economists, Centre for Policy Dialogue and Transparency International Bangladesh said that providing bail-out fund for the scam-hit banks with public money was now a common phenomenon.
They criticised the government for keeping Tk 1,500 crore as bailout fund in the new budget.
Rajshahi Krishi Unnyan Bank received Tk 199.79 crore, Grameen Bank Tk 21 lakh, Karmasangstan Bank Tk 50 crore, Palli Sanchay Bank Tk 90 crore and Ansar-VDP Unnayan Bank Tk 10 crore.
The finance division also gave Tk 150 crore to Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation in loan with the annual three per cent interest.
Financial Institute Division was repeatedly demanding budgetary allocation for the banks including another scam-hit BASIC Bank for improving their liquidity positions not up to the mark because of loan scams and failure to recover fund from wilful defaulters.
However, finance division did not disburse any fund for BASIC first time in the past several years.
Once profitable, BASIC was given Tk 3,390 crore years until last fiscal in four tranches to meet
its capital shortfall caused by shady loans of over Tk 6,000 crore given during the tenure of its
previous board led by its chairman Sheikh Abdul Hye Bacchu, allegedly appointed on political consideration.
According to Financial Institutions Division, Tk 9,788 crore was sanctioned for the state-owned banks with over Tk 6,000 crore sanctioned to Sonali and BASIC between FY13 and FY17.
Former Bangladesh Bank deputy governor Ibrahim Khaled said that loan scams and extension of loan on political
consideration were major reason for growing defaulted loan in the state-owned banks and the overall banking sector.
The amount of non-performing loan crossed double digit mark, highest within the neighbours, and an omen for the country’s economy, he noted.
The defaulted loans in the six state-owned banks — Sonali, Janata, Agrani, Rupali, BASIC and Bangladesh Development Bank — increased to Tk 38,517.32 crore as of September 30, 2017 from Tk 34,580 crore as of June 30, 2017, according to statistics of the Bangladesh Bank.
The defaulted loan was Tk 13,771 crore for Sonali Bank, Tk 7,599 crore for BASIC Bank, Tk 5,819 crore for Janata Bank, Tk 5,116 crore for Agrani Bank and Tk 4,251 crore for Rupali Bank.
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