Trouble faces Islami Bank, institutions linked to Jamaat | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

Trouble faces Islami Bank, institutions linked to Jamaat

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The finance ministry has told the central bank to take action against all financial institutions with links to the Jamaat-e-Islami, pro-government online news agency bdnews24.com reported on Tuesday.
The report says, the ministry’s Bank and Financial Institutions Division issued a letter to the governor of Bangladesh Bank on Sunday, hours after Jamaat Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid was executed for his 1971 war crimes.
On information received from the home ministry, the finance ministry also asked the governor to clamp down on all service-providing entities, educational institutes and any other organisation operated by Jamaat, the report said.
The Islamist party has made investments in services, trade, education, transport and media, and to have financially benefitted from these ventures, it said.A 216-page annexure was also sent with the letter signed by Deputy Secretary Md Rizwanul Huda of the finance ministry.
Bangladesh Bank Deputy Governor Abu Hena Md Razi Hasan said, “Since the government has directed this, we will certainly comply with it.”
“But first we have to scrutinise the data mentioned in the letter and in the annexure. We will also have to see how much the central bank can do about it,” bdnews24.com quoted him as saying.
The government, however, did not specify the nature and manner of actions it wanted against the Jamaat institutions.
Some groups list the Islami Bank as the biggest financial venture of Jamaat, and some quarters categorise the economic activities of some such institutions as ‘ the fundamentalist economy of Bangladesh’
The report mentions several high-ranking Jamaat leaders and war crimes accused were, at different times, in the bank’s Board of Directors. The names mentioned include Abu Naser Mohammad Abdus Zaher was the chairman of the immediate past board. Mir Quasem Ali, was the vice president of the bank and involved in the administration of the Islami Bank Foundation.
Former chairman of the bank Shah Abdul Hannan, a former finance secretary to the government has also been mentioned has having close ties with Jamaat.
The report says, a number of hospitals, diagnosis centres, medicine manufacturers, insurance companies, media outlets, transport companies, real estate ventures, schools, colleges and coaching centres were identified as being run by Jamaat.
Since instructions have been given to the Bangladesh Bank for taking measures, concerned circles speculated that the Islami Bank over which the central bank has jurisdiction to regulate and supervise might be the the prime target. Fact however remains that for its successful performance as a scheduled commercial bank a number of new islami banks have been set up and are successfully operating in the country and most other conventional scheduled banks have opened Islami banking branches. They include a couple of foreign banks having their operations in the country. Islami Bank Banlgadesh is at present the largest private bank in the country. – News Desk

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