Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal disclosed in parliament a list of the country’s top 300 loan defaulters who have gobbled up Tk 50,942 crore. There are 1.7 lakh loan defaulters in the country in total who have eaten up an astounding Tk 1.02 lakh crore. The amount of NPLs makes up about 20 percent of our national budget which is an extremely bad sign for the economy.
The actions of these defaulters have created anarchy in the banking sector and they have helped consolidate a toxic culture of defaulting on loans. They shamelessly use taxpayers’ money to lead a lavish lifestyle at home and abroad and do not even bother to try and repay their loans on time. In my opinion, they are the real public enemy.
It is true that insufficient collateral against these loans, depositing the same asset to more than one bank and overvaluation of collateral assets increase the risk of loans going bad.
These wilful defaulters give the whole business community a bad name. But no one seems to be bothered about taking severe action against them. In Bangladesh big loan defaulters even get the privilege of having their loans rescheduled several times whereas such opportunities are non-existent for small and medium enterprises. Loan defaulters should be handed down exemplary punishment as they would in any country that cares about the wellbeing of its economy.