• Tuesday, Oct 20, 2020
  • Last Update : 05:18 pm

An institutional failure

  • Published at 11:41 pm February 29th, 2020
This is not a new issue for our banking sector
Photo: BIGSTOCK

We simply cannot afford to let non-performing loans continue to derail our progress

It is a travesty that willful loan defaulters continue to hold our banking sector -- and our entire economy -- hostage, being one of the biggest obstacles to us reaching our economic potential.

Of particular note is that non-performing loans in the industrial sector have risen by close to 15% over last year, and the question must be asked: When will Bangladesh be able to stop this?

Bangladesh is currently at an extremely crucial juncture in its development journey; we have middle-income status within our sights, and there is hope that we are only beginning to scratch the surface of our overall potential as a nation.

To that end, we simply cannot afford to let non-performing loans continue to derail our progress any longer.

At this point, writing about non-performing loans in the country has become a sad mantra, repeated over and over again. This newspaper has editorialized numerous times on it, but it is extremely unfortunate to note that we seem to be no closer to actually resolving this issue.

The loan restructuring facilities that were offered to these defaulters by the central bank rightfully raised eyebrows -- it was a slap on the face of the responsible and conscious citizens who were doing their part in ensuring that our banking sector runs as smoothly as possible by paying back their loans.

Instead, it appears that, unsurprisingly, restructuring loans have not worked, and have only added to the amount of defaulted loans.

It is only through good governance, and abolishing the rampant corruption, political interference, and favouritism in approving loans, as well as the culture of impunity enjoyed by these defaulters, will we stand any chance of tackling non-performing loans.

Until then, it seems bad loans will continue to hold us back, and that is a shame.

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