Recommending a swift change to the banking policy, State Minister for Industries, Kamal Ahmed Majumder said the leading players of the industrial sector are the ones responsible for the plight of the banks today, and the number of defaulters is increasing day by day.
"Our banking policy is misleading. They are using loans from government banks to open private banks under different names. Debts of defaulters are rescheduled, and their cash is waived. This is people's money. State money cannot be waived in this way," said the State Minister while speaking as the special guest at a virtual discussion titled "Industrialised Bangladesh and Bangabandhu's Dream" organised by the Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) on the occasion of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on Thursday.
Debtors are society leaders now – they are leading the industry; they are involved in share scandals. They must be identified, and measures need to be taken for the development of the industrial sector, he added.
"The small traders are not receiving government loans intended to alleviate their suffering resulting from Covid-19. They are also not being given loans. We are creating entrepreneurs, but we can't give them the money they need. However, defaulters get loans. We have to develop import-export policy with a core emphasis on domestic industry, and banking and industrial policies," he said further.
"The Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation has to pay employees for the whole year even though the corporation runs for only three months. We have to keep trade unionss closed for five to six years because though they don't work; we have to pay salaries, provide vehicles. They even intervene when someone is transferred," he added.
Former Governor of the Bangladesh Bank, Professor Farasuddin Ahmed in his keynote address said Bangabandhu valued big industries and believed prosperity would not be possible without them. However, he considered small and cottage industries to be more important because they use domestic raw materials, thereby generating employment and helping to reduce poverty.
Urging the government to prioritize cooperatives, Farasuddin said Bangabandhu had stressed on the importance of cooperatives. Cooperatives is the only antidote for price hikes. As long as there is a cooperative, the influence of the middlemen decreases.
BCIC Chairman, Mostafizur Rahman presided over the event and its Director, Aminul Islam spoke on the occasion among others.