Free banks from loan defaults | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, July 07, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, July 07, 2009

Free banks from loan defaults

JS body recommends finance ministry some steps

A parliamentary body has asked the finance ministry to initiate formation of asset management companies to free the banking system of the huge amount of existing defaulted loans.
The parliamentary standing committee on finance ministry came up with the recommendation at a meeting at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban yesterday. Bangladesh Bank will issue licences for running such companies, it said.
"The asset management companies will take over all liabilities of a defaulting organisation in consultation with the bank that lent it money. An asset management company will clear the loan defaulted by an organisation and recover the money from the borrower through mutual understanding," AHM Mostafa Kamal, chief of the parliamentary body, told reporters after the meeting.
On Sunday, Finance Minister AMA Muhith revealed a list of 2,196 organisations that defaulted on loans worth Tk 15,451 crore and told parliament that the government has initiated steps to recover the amount.
Mostafa Kamal yesterday said discussions can be held to find out ways for forming asset management companies and running them effectively if the government accepts the proposal.
Asked if forming such companies will improve the situation arising out of the bad culture of defaulting on loans, he said the initiative would be successful. "In many countries including Malaysia and Thailand, the system is very popular as an answer to bad loans."
The parliamentary standing committee also asked the finance ministry to appoint an ombudsman who will work to resolve banking related conflicts and problems and protect interests of clients.
"The ombudsman will work under the central bank," Kamal said.
The committee recommended that the finance ministry introduce cash incentive packages for exporters, under which an exporter will receive Tk 1 against each dollar of their net export. The incentive will be deposited in their bank accounts.
It was recommended that expatriate Bangladeshi workers also get the same amount of incentive against each dollar they send home in remittance, which the committee said will encourage labourers to send more remittance.
It recommended increasing salaries of Bangladesh Bank officials and employees to boost efficiency. It also discussed the central bank's monetary policy in case the global economic meltdown prolongs.

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