Big investors in the country's banking sector should be given some leeway, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Thursday.
Speaking at his 85th birthday celebration in the Secretariat, the minister said: “Punishing the big investors for every single problem that currently grips the banking sector cannot be a solution. They should be given some leeway.”
He also blamed both public and private sectors for the current crises in the banking sector.
The veteran minister's remark came only a day after he presented a massive list of big loan defaulters in parliament.
On Wednesday, Muhith told parliament that the scheduled banks and financial institutions in the country had failed to realize some Tk656.02 billion in default loans over the last 10 years from 1,956 big borrowers, each of whom had taken a loan above Tk10 crore, reported UNB.
According to the latest CIB database of Bangladesh Bank, the first 10 names on the list of big defaulters are Mohammad Elias Brothers (Pvt) Ltd, Marrine Vegetable Oil Ltd, Quantum Power Systems Ltd, Max Spinning Mills, Benetex Industries Ltd, Anowara Spinning Mills, Chowdhury Knitwears Ltd, Siddique Traders, Yasir Enterprise and Alppa Composite Towel Ltd.
In reply to a supplementary question from Awami League lawmaker Shamsul Haque Chowdhury, the finance minister said: “The number of taxpayers in the country is 3.1 million. It is shameful. At least 16 million of the 160 million people should be paying taxes.”
Muhith said the government was aiming to increase the number of taxpayers to five million by 2021.
Sections of this article were published on banglatribune.com