Businesses seek central Bank’s strong vigil over financial sector

Businesses seek central Bank’s strong vigil over financial sector

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Dhaka – Worried over the banking sector, the FBCCI chief seeks ‘responsible behaviour’ equally from both banks and their customers with strong supervision from the central bank so that Bangladesh does not fall in any big financial risk in the future, UNB news agency reported. “I’m really worried over the country’s banking sector. The country will be at big financial risk if they don’t quickly fix their problems,” said Abdul Matlub Ahmad, President of the Federation of
Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), in an interview.
He said each bank should act carefully mentioning that all, including the next generation that wishes to join business will be affected if such ‘irresponsible behaviour’ goes on in the banking sector.
Referring to some financial scams, Matlub, also the Chairman of Nitol Niloy Group, said such incidents will continue to take place if the banks and their clients do not behave responsibly.
“Unfortunately, now the worst things are also happening in the market,” he said adding that Bangladesh Bank’s role was very weak in dealing with all those issues.
Banking management system is such a system having in-built safeguards, Matlub said adding “You’ll sink when you’ll violate your own rules. If clients also join hands with banks in violating rules then the consequences appear dangerous.”
Responding to a question on high bank interest rate, the FBCCI chief said they are lagging behind in competition with other competitors in other countries as the cost of doing business is high here due to high bank interest rate.
Now the bank interest rate is gradually coming down, he said hoping that it will come down to a single digit soon through ‘another push’.
Matlub expressed his displeasure on the non-performing loan (NPL).
“This is like a cancer. We need to come out from this.”
On the stock market, the FBCCI chief said the ‘single-dose’ medicine will not work in fixing the capital market problems. “The capital market won’t grow until and unless transparency is fully put in place.”
Highlighting foreign investors’ growing interest in Bangladesh, Matlub said many global companies, including ones from India, are showing their keen interest and coming to Bangladesh for investment.
“But we’re yet to make sure that every industrial unit will have access to required energy supply.”
Through such uncertainty, the FBCCI chief said, foreign direct investment (FDI) will never come to Bangladesh as the current investment scenario here is certainly not satisfactory. “However, there is good news. The government has started realising the necessity of smooth supply of energy to run industrial units effectively.”
On the upcoming national budget, the FBCCI president said there should be no such step in the coming budget that might create unnecessary fear among business community. Transparency and
governance issues should be given priority in the coming budget, he suggested.
About the prospect of Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative, Matlub said he sees some significant progress and mentioned that they are now interestingly seeing how the global investors are giving a serious look at any big projects in Bangladesh.
“Proper and planned investment for the country’s infrastructure development will help take Bangladesh to the next level of development with 8-9 percent GDP growth,” he added.
Asked about Bangladeshi companies’ investment abroad, the FBCCI chief said ‘cross-investment’ is a common factor and many Bangladeshi entrepreneurs, over the last 45 years, have developed the capacity to make investment abroad. The time has come to encourage young and energetic entrepreneurs to invest abroad, he said.
“I’m very hopeful that the highly educated energetic young entrepreneurs will be able to bring in huge foreign currency through investing abroad. If our expatriates Bangladeshi can contribute
around US$ 16 billion as remittances we can multiply the earnings figure,” he explained.
Describing the worst scenario during army-backed caretaker government, the FBCCI chief said it took over two years to get back to the track and the business community made a turnaround.
On dull scenario in the country’s housing sector, he said the sector invited troubles by itself.
Some real estate developers had created a balloon by inflating the land prices, Matlub said adding that the balloon once bursts. “Developers were irresponsible in many cases.”

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