February 1, 2017 - 4:29pm
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday demanded that Bangladesh Bank takes immediate step to reduce non-performing loans and curb money laundering to boost investment in the country.
‘The non-performing loans in banking sector have been rising steadily. Immediate steps should be taken to solve this problem. Otherwise, it will not be possible to speed up investment in the country,’ said FBCCI president Abdul Matlub Ahmed at a press conference in the capital Dhaka.
The FBCCI organised the press conference to give its reaction to the monetary policy for January-June period announced by the central bank on January 29.
Matlub said that there should have been a clear direction by the BB in the monetary policy on curbing the ratio of non-performing loans in the banking sector.
He noted that the NPL in baking sector was Tk 63,300 crore as of June 30, 2016 and the amount would be much higher at present.
The FBCCI president urged the BB to take steps so that the undisclosed money was not channelled out of the country.
‘We do not know the actual amount of undisclosed money in the country but the central bank should take stern action so that the money cannot fly abroad,’ he said.
The FBCCI chief recommended for strengthening the financial intelligence unit of the BB.
Regarding the monetary policy, he said, the BB kept unchanged the target of 16.50-per cent private sector credit growth but it should have been at 17 per cent as the import of capital machineries increased in recent period indicating that the investment in the coming months would rise, Matlub said.
He said Bangladesh had failed to achieve required growth in investment due to cumbersome approval process of construction, land registration and power connection.
The FBCCI chief said that the export of jute and jute goods to India would be hampered as the Indian authorities imposed anti-dumping duty.
He expressed concern over the anti-dumping duty and urged the governments of the two countries to solve the issue through discussion.
After 25 days of imposition of anti-dumping duty by India on Bangladeshi jute goods, the FBCCI, country’s apex trade body, expressed its concern in the face of dissatisfaction of jute sector businesses.
Replying to a question Matlub said the FBCCI wanted a harassment-free value-added tax system.
He demanded that the VAT rate be set at 7 per cent in the new law instead of proposed 15 per cent.
‘It is unfortunate that we had started discussion on value-added tax-related issue with the National Board of Revenue before last budget but the issue is yet to be settled,’ FBCCI first vice-president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said.