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133 Sick Garment Industries: Moves underway to waive Tk650cr bank dues

  • Published at 10:08 pm January 26th, 2020
Government Innitiative
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Bangladesh Bank, on behalf of the finance ministry, on January 9 asked the respective banks to provide information about debt accounts held by 133 sick garments industries within five working days

The government has taken an initiative to relieve 133 sick and closed garment industries of Tk649.74 crore due to 21 state-owned and private commercial banks. 

Bangladesh Bank, on behalf of the finance ministry, on January 9 asked the respective banks to provide information about debt accounts held by 133 sick garments industries within five working days. 

The central bank also sought the banks' opinions on the finance ministry initiative. 

The banks, accordingly, submitted the sought-for information to the central bank. 

The 21 banks are Sonali Bank, Agrani Bank, Rupali Bank, Janata Bank, BASIC Bank, Pubali Bank, Uttara Bank, Mercantile Bank, Exim Bank, National Bank, Prime Bank, IFIC Bank, Dutch-Bangla Bank, Al Arafah Islami Bank, The City Bank, SIBL, Southeast Bank, Jamuna Bank, NCC Bank, BDBL and Bangladesh Commerce Bank, according to banking sources. 

“The government wants to relieve the sick and closed garments industry of their liabilities through a special subsidy scheme,” said a high official of the finance ministry. 

Of the total liabilities of Tk649.74crore, Tk458.57 is due to six state-run banks and Tk191.17crore to 15 private commercial banks. 

Pubali Bank Managing Director and CEO MA Halim Chowdhury said: “Our department concerned is working on this matter. Now I would not comment on the matter.”

Agrani Bank Managing Director and CEO Mohammad Shams-Ul Islam said he was not aware of the matter.

Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Rubana Huq said: “We have been talking about the issue for several years. We recently proposed that the government help 133 sick garment industries.”

"We expect that the government will help the 133 sick and closed garments industries," she added.  

In October last year, the country’s apparel exporters demanded a stimulus package from the Bangladesh Bank, including loan rescheduling facility and compensation against the value of dollar on retained value, to enhance competitiveness of the sector in the global market and protect the interests of small and medium scale factories at home.

After assuming office as BGMEA president last year, Rubana Huq submitted a set of demands during a meeting with Bangladesh Bank governor Fazle Kabir on October 7 last year.