Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Wednesday said it will take time for state-owned Sonali Bank and Basic Bank to regain their previous positions in the banking sector as they have experienced several unpleasant incidents.“There’re some problems in these government-owned banks. Several robbery incidents have taken place in Sonali Bank while some high officials of Basic Bank looted huge money from it,” he said.The minister was addressing the Annual General Meeting 2016 of Janata Bank Ltd at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the city.Muhith said Janata Bank is relatively in a better position among other state-owned commercial banks.Dismissing the allegation that Bangladesh has excess commercial banks, the minister said the number is not as many as per the total number of the country’s population.Despite having around 9,000 branches of all banks in the country, many people still remain out of banking service, Muhith told the function. “Some 13 crore people out of 16 crore are economically solvent and live above the poverty line. So, the demand for internal loan is increasing day by day.”
However, the government has entered into an agreement with state-owned commercial banks a few years back to strengthen the positions of financial organisations, he said.The Finance Minister also said Bangladesh has been able to keep its GDP growth rate above 6 percent amid worldwide economic slowdown which is very important for the country’s economic stability.Bangladesh also has good contributions to international business, the minister added.Managing Director (MD) of Janata Bank Adbus Salam said his bank has earned Tk 1,162 crore as profit in 2015 against the target of Tk 1,100 crore and collected Tk 800 crore default loans in 2015.The number of loss-making branches of the bank has come down to 35 which were 60 in 2014, Salam added.The bank has set a slew of targets for 2016, including making a profit of Tk 1,350 crore, financing Tk 16,500 crore in export sector and Tk 16,000 crore in import, making a deposit of Tk 63,000 and disbursing Tk 38,500 as loan and advance.