Farmers Bank: Muhith blames entrepreneurs for debacle
12:00 AM, January 01, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:12 AM, January 01, 2018

Farmers Bank: Muhith blames entrepreneurs for debacle

Finance Minister AMA Muhith has held the entrepreneurs responsible for the Farmers Bank debacle and advised Bangladesh Bank to merge the bank with other banks.

“The entrepreneurs have destroyed the Farmers Bank. It is my impression,” Muhith said to a reporter  at his secretariat office yesterday.

He said, “I think, for the Farmers Bank, the best solution is a merger with another bank.

“The central bank will do it.  In this regard I can advise and I have also done so.”

Replying to a question, the finance minister said steps need to be taken against the entrepreneurs of Farmers Bank as they are responsible for its failure.

He said action is being taken in this regard and more will be taken.

Since being approved in 2013 on political consideration, the bank has repeatedly failed to repay depositors' money on time owing to various irregularities. 

As the situation worsened, BB forced the bank's Chairman Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir and its Audit Committee Chairman Mahabubul Haque Chisty to step down on November 27. The bank's managing director AKM Shameem has also been removed.

Asked about the bank's former chairman, Awami League lawmaker and former home minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, the finance minister said, “It was not his field to go for. He should not have gone to this field”.

Regarding the overall banking sector, the finance minister said that in the next two months the government will take some steps but he did not elaborate on them.

Economists and civil society members have long been recommending a banking commission for the ailing banking sector. In this regard, the finance minister had made a commitment to form such a commission but it has not been done yet.

The finance minister also said there was no chance of any bank failing.

Regarding the public sector banks, he said there was no possibility of a merger for them.

Retirement age

The finance minister has sent a proposal to the prime minister recommending increasing the retirement age for public servants to 62 from the existing 59 years. He said now the average age in Bangladesh is 71 years while when the Bangabandhu government fixed the retirement age of government staff at 58, the average age was 48.

However, the finance minister said the prime minister has not yet given any green signal in this regard.

Muhith also said the next election will be held in December and he is hopeful that Awami League will come to power again.

He added that he is 100 percent sure that BNP will participate in the next parliamentary election and if they do not do so, they will disappear. 

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