A malignant culture

Willful loan defaulting is akin to stealing the money from the pockets of the people

One of the more insidious issues that has plagued our economy is an overabundance of loan defaulters who are willing to jeopardize our entire economy for their own gains. Thousands of crores have been lost from our different banks due to influential and powerful parties defaulting on the loans they take almost on a whim.

It is a culture with a long and storied history in Bangladesh, and one that we simply cannot afford to let slide any longer.

On that note, it is good that Bangladesh Bank has finally introduced some new rules when it comes to the waiver of loans. Banks will not be able to waive more than Tk10 lakh when it comes to the interest payment of loans, and no portion of the principal amount can now be waived. 

According to a Bangladesh Bank report, the amount of money that was defaulted through loans surpassed more than Tk50,000cr. Loan defaulting is a regular malpractice that is levied against banks. From the incompetence and collusion of senior bankers to the powerful ties and political influence of most such loan defaulters, there are a number of reasons behind this culture being perpetuated.

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Hopefully, with the new guidelines from the central bank, most cases of willful loan defaulting can be nipped in the bud.

Willful loan defaulting is akin to stealing the money from the pockets of the people, and should be treated as the criminal offense it is. Bangladesh Bank should monitor the implementation of the new rules comprehensively; and regular investigations into loan defaulting still have to be carried out to that end. 

We have come way too far as a nation to let the unscrupulous few slide us back into the past.