Two directors of Janata Bank removed, no reason given
The government has abruptly dismissed two directors of Janata Bank -- Manik Chandra Dey and Md Abdul Haque -- before the end of their three-year term without giving any reason.
The move comes at a time when Janata is mired in controversies surrounding loans amounting to Tk 8,300 crore to two business groups -- Crescent and AnonTex.
Manik is an additional secretary of the Financial Institutions Division of the finance ministry. He joined the board of Janata as a director in December 2015.
Haque is a former executive director of Bangladesh Bank and he was appointed to the Janata board in July last year.
“We suddenly received a letter from the finance ministry just before the board meeting on October 3,” said Md Abdus Salam Azad, managing director of Janata. “We know nothing about why the two directors were withdrawn suddenly,” he said, adding that there is no connection of the dismissals with the Crescent or AnonTex loans.
Asadul Islam, finance secretary, declined to comment on the matter.
The removed directors suspect that they were withdrawn for raising objections against the loans given to two influential business groups by indulging in administrative irregularities.
“We identified some irregularities in the loan procedure against two influential clients and raised them at the board meeting,” Haque said.
As a result, the loan approvals were delayed, which made the influential clients annoyed, he said, while refuting that the two influential groups were Crescent and AnonTex. “Janata has some extremely powerful clients,” he added.
A Bangladesh Bank investigation found that the Janata management and board engaged in irregularities while extending loans amounting to Tk 8,300 crore to Crescent and AnonTex.
Moreover, Crescent enjoyed cash incentives of Tk 1,074 crore from the government between 2013 and 2018 against its export proceeds, a significant portion of which was found taken through collusion with Janata officials.
The government retrieved Tk 408 crore of the cash incentive given to Crescent by deducting the amount from Janata's account maintained with the BB.
In another development, Janata board had approved loans of Tk 100 crore against a business group several months ago without taking collateral, according to source of the bank. The group was supposed to mortgage 80 bigha of land against the loan but that is yet to happen. It also has more loan proposals amounting to Tk 350 crore pending with the bank.