Abu Sazzad: The High Court recently extended time for a month to reschedule the loan of 4,000 applicants.
Such policy is encouraging the big defaulters to avail fresh loan as well as squeezing the small stakeholders to get adequate financial facilities, experts said.
To get special facilities for rescheduling loans, about 4,000 applications have been submitted to banks-namely the public ones. The High Court has extended the application deadline for a month. Under a special arrangement, the defaulters will get the chance to reschedule their loan for 10 years with only two percent down payment.
The big defaulters are not showing much interest in Bangladesh Bank’s ‘One Time Exit’ facility for loan rescheduling, said sources. At the time, the small and medium defaulters are not getting such opportunity which is increasing economic disparity in the country.
The public banks have received the most applications for such a facility. Whereas, the private banks are not showing any interest to offer this facility.
The private banks are finding faults with the applications of the clients to provide such facilities, said clients. While many of them are saying that clients are ineligible for getting such opportunity.
In such cases, several hundred applications have been submitted to Bangladesh Bank but the central bank is ignoring on the matter. According to a BB official, the concerned banks are the authority to deal such cases.
Among the public banks, the defaulters have submitted most applications to Janata Bank, Sonali Bank and BASIC Bank. However, default loans in these banks are also high.
According to the Bangladesh Bank statistic, default loan was Tk 20,995 crore in Janata Bank, Tk 12,165 crore in Sonali Bank, and Tk 9,114 core in BASIC Bank until December last.
Some 700 groups and individuals have applied to Janata Bank for loan rescheduling to get special benefits, according to sources.
However, the top 10 loan defaulters of the bank including Crescent Group have not applied yet.
Crescent Group’s default loan to Janata Bank was Tk 2,187 crore last December.
Besides, some 1,200 applications have been submitted to Sonali Bank, 550 to BASIC Bank, 320 to Agrani Bank and 280 to Rupali Bank.
“The special policy of loan rescheduling has received a good response,” said a senior bank official.
Bank Asia Ltd President and Managing Director Md Arfan Ali said that the new rule has also increased the tendency of becoming willful defaulters.
Rescheduling facilities are also squeezing the financial health of many banks.
Earlier, the High Court issued an order that the defaulters would not be allowed to get further loans by depositing two per cent down payment of the total loan amount.
The High Court bench of justices JBM Hasan and Md Khairul Alam has extended the time.
The court issued the order following a petition of the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.
Earlier, on May 16 last, Bangladesh Bank issued a circular giving special loan rescheduling facility allowing defaulters to regularise their loans for 10 years by paying a 2 percent down payment instead of the existing 10 to 15 percent down payment.
Defaulters were asked to apply within 90 days from the date of the circular.
Later on May 21, the High Court issued a status quo until June 24 on the central bank circular following a writ petition filed by the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.
On July 3, Chamber judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court stayed the High Court order till July 8 and sent it to the Supreme Court full bench.
On July 8, the Supreme Court extended its stay on a High Court order that halted the Bangladesh Bank circular, for two months. Experts said, the extension of rescheduling facility would facilitate the large stakeholders, so, the authorities concerned will have take more policy support to provide adequate loans to the small stakeholders.
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