Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday expressed apprehension that holding ownership of several banks and insurance companies by a Chattogram-based business group may become a threat for the financial sector.
The group is becoming dangerous and a threat, he said while speaking to reporters at his secretariat office.
The minister said the sources of all of the group's funds were banks. He, however, did not respond to a query as to whether this would result in the weakening of the financial sector.
Asked about the big irregularities in the financial sector, including those involving BASIC Bank and Hall-Mark Group, the minister said the government took many steps about Hall-Mark.
About Salman F Rahman, vice-chairman of Beximco Group, Muhith said he encouraged Rahman to contest in this month's parliamentary elections, as it would increase his accountability.
The minister called the non-performing loans the biggest problem for the banking sector, saying the NPLs have to be brought down.
He said he would leave a number of recommendations on the financial sector for the next government, and one of them would give a target to banks to cut default loans.
“Banks that will fail to reach the target will be merged with other banks,” he said, adding that he would recommend starting the initiative with public sector banks.
The reporters also wanted to know about his failures during his 10-year stint as the finance minister. In reply, he said his accomplishments were massive while his failures were minimal.
According to the minister, his only failures were not being able to introduce district budget and unified budget.
Muhith said he had already prepared a framework for the present government to implement if it retains power.
He said he wanted the incumbent government to win the elections to complete the mega projects it had undertaken.
When asked whether he would respond positively if the next government requests him to take the helm of the finance ministry, the minister said if he was given the responsibility he would have to shoulder it. “But that possibility is slim.”