State owned banks account for about 50% of monetary irregularities in the govt

05 March 2021

AUDIT reports of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) have shown that half of the government's monetary irregularities are in the banking sector. The CAG has identified irregularities amounting to Tk 59,046 crore between 2016 and 2021. Of the amount, Tk 31,000 crore belongs to state-owned commercial and specialized banks. The extent of irregularities in the banking sector has increased 18 times in the last 9 years. The finance ministers during this period have not taken any action to stop irregularities due to political connections of the offenders.
Sadly enough, there has been an active move to clear the defaulted debts without seeing that this increased irregularities. Before the pandemic, the amount of defaulted loans was shown to be Tk 95,000 crore. Money has been stolen from banks and foreign currency has been laundered. And all such corruption has been committed in collusion with some bankers and politicians. As a result, the condition of the banking sector has deteriorated in the last 10 years.
Regarding the irregularities in the banking sector, the CAG report said that loans were given to customers even after they mortgaged fake land or government khas land. Besides, loans have been issued to non-existent institutions, or those without loan repayment records. There have also been cases of disbursement of loans without adequate collateral, lending with defective collateral to parties having classified liabilities and allegations of fraud against customers.
Notifications of the central bank, financial regulations and orders have been disobeyed by the government at different times, while high profile central bank officials also committed corruption. The checks and balance system between the regulator and government is also non-existent.  The culture of impunity, protection to the loan defaulters and injection of money to the ailing banks from the national exchequer—all have cumulatively put the banking sector on the brink. The government and the Bangladesh Bank cannot skip their responsibilities.

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