• Saturday, Dec 04, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:53 am

Commerce Ministry to decide on Evaly’s plea for more time

  • Published at 08:02 pm August 9th, 2021

Evaly has also committed to sending two status reports each month to the ministry about their pending deliveries

Officials of the Commerce Ministry and other government agencies are set to meet Wednesday to decide whether Evaly should be given more time to explain how the e-commerce platform is going to meet its liabilities.  

The nine-member committee that will decide on the matter is headed by Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh and also has representatives from the Home Ministry, ICT Division, Bangladesh Bank, National Board of Revenue (NBR), Directorate of National Consumers' Right Protection, and the Bangladesh Competition Commission.

Earlier, Evaly had asked for six months from the ministry after it sent a letter asking for an explanation on the liabilities owed by the platform. 

Also Read - Evaly: Give us 6 months to explain how liabilities will be met 

Evaly was given until August 1 to send a written explanation to the commerce secretary in this regard.

A top official of Evaly, seeking anonymity, said: "We have asked for six more months to audit our financial statements through a third-party auditor, setting the valuation of the company and sending the explanation. We will be working on a progress report.”

The e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) had also sought explanations from Evaly on why the association should not cancel its membership.

Sahab Uddin Shipon, vice-president of e-CAB, said that Evaly has already replied to the letters issued by the regulatory bodies, and a decision will be taken on the matter after the evaluation of their response.

"It sought six months from the ministry, and three months from us,” said the e-CAB VP.

Additionally, Evaly also has committed to sending two status reports each month to the ministry about their pending deliveries, while highlighting the news of scoring a Tk1,000 crore investment in the response letter.

But Evaly did not mention the name of Jamuna Group as its investor, from which the e-commerce platform will be apparently receiving Tk200 crore as initial investment.

In an inspection report submitted to the Commerce Ministry in June, Bangladesh Bank said Evaly's total liabilities stood at Tk407.18 crore. After receiving Tk213.94 crore in advance from customers and Tk189.85 crore from merchants, the company was expected to have at least Tk403.80 crore in current assets, but it only had Tk65.17 crore.

On July 17, several banks, including Brac Bank, Bank Asia, Dhaka Bank, City Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, and Prime Bank suspended their transactions with Evaly. 

Also Read - Why does Jamuna Group think Evaly is a good investment?

Following the central bank report, the Ministry of Commerce asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to file a case against Evaly over the alleged embezzlement of Tk338 crore taken as an advance from customers.

On the same day, Evaly Managing Director Mohammad Rassel and his wife Shamima Nasrin, the chairman of the e-commerce firm, were barred from travelling abroad by a Dhaka court.

The Commerce Ministry also wrote to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to initiate relevant legal actions against the online marketplace over the reported irregularities.

The ministry also issued operational guidelines for the e-commerce sector in response to the growing impact of digital platforms on the current economic progress of the country and the challenges posed by them.

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