T he amount of default loans in the banking sector decreased after relaxation of the rules and regulations by the central bank of Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Bank (BB), according to the Finance Minister of Bangladesh Mr. AHM Mustafa Kamal in the parliament while responding to queries.

The parliament was further detailed about the non-performing loans (NPLs) fall by BDT 17,737 crore, or ca. EUR 1.74 billion. As of September 2020 the outstanding non-performing loans (NPLs) was reported at BDT 94,440.47 crore or EUR 9.26 billion, according the the central bank data, which the minister made reference to.

Although the amount of non-performing loans decreased the number of loan defaulters increased from 2,66,118 as of December 2018 to 334,982 according to minister’s account in the parliament on the 25th January 2021 – an increase of 68,864 in 22 months.

“The central bank has relaxed several policies on loan classifications, helping reduce default loans,” Kamal said.

In 2019, a relaxed rescheduling facility was offered to defaulters, allowing them to regularise NPLs by way of giving 2 per cent down payment, which decreased classified loans in banks.

“In addition, the central bank also declared a loan moratorium throughout last year to tackle the economic situation stemming from the coronavirus pandemic,” Kamal added.

Banks have also been asked to form monitoring cells in order to recover NPLs from top defaulters that have NPLs amount over 100 crore or ca. EUR 10 million.

Four mobile operators owe the government over BDT 13,000 crore or ca. EUR 1.28 billion in arrears as audit objections, 3G spectrum use as well as High Court settled amounts, Posts and Telecom Minister Mustafa Jabbar told The Daily Star.

Grameenphone owes BDT 10,580 crore or ca. EUR 1.04 billion as audit objection while Robi Axiata owes BDT 729 crore or ca. 71.47 million for the same reason.

Pacific Bangladesh Telecom owes BDT 128 crore or ca. 12.55 million as a High Court settled amount and the state-owned Teletalk Bangladesh owes BDT 1,585 crore or ca. 155.39 million due to 3G spectrum use, he added.

-: END :-

Mr. Kauser Bhuiyan is a former EU diplomat and Wall-Street professional who gained sixteen years of professional experience at Accenture, Bloomberg, European Commission and Stein & Partners. He learned professional skills in the areas of Change Management Consulting, International Financial Market, Economic Co-operation and Sustainability Advisory services in Frankfurt, Zurich, London, New York, Brussels, Islamabad and Dhaka. Mr. Bhuiyan can be reached at to[at]bangladeshinside.com

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