Senior Reporter: Rubana Haque said in a letter that the overall condition of the sick 133 factory is very poor. Many of the owners have died. The rest have lost their physical and mental performance due to age. In this situation, it is not possible for the sick industrial owners to start a factory or repay a bank loan.
BGMEA president Rubana Haque had in September last year appealed to Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal to waive the arrears of the factory owner.
Since 1975, the government has given exit facilities to 269 sick and closed factories in the garment sector. At that time 133 factory owners did not take this advantage.
In the letter, he said they did not get a new bank loan as they became defaulters. The homeowners took over the factory machineries due to arrears of rent. The lending banks take possession of the movable and immovable property of the factory.
The letter further said that their last home can also be mortgaged to the bank and evicted the homeless owners by auctioning at any time. They are living as Ferrari as the accused in the case in the finance court.
When asked for their opinion on the application, Bangladesh Bank informed the Financial Institutions Division of the Ministry of Finance that the principal of 131 ailing institutions amounted to Tk 552.53 crore, interest to the income sector was Tk 146.05 crore and the case cost of banks was Tk 3.56 crore. The loan information of the other two ailing institutions was not available from the concerned banks.
Bangladesh Bank said, “If the institutions want to write off their loans, the banks will have to repay a total of Tk 8.32 crore from the government. According to the policy of interest waiver, even if the government wants, the interest on cost of funds and income sector cannot be waived.
Later, BGMEA also applied to Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi for waiver of loans for these ailing industries. In this context, the Ministry of Commerce formed a committee to review the matter and make recommendations at an inter-ministerial meeting last October.
The committee was asked to report within two months with recommendations. The committee held two meetings and submitted its report.
The committee said the reason for the factories falling ill was that they started business in rented accommodation. Banking rules, international business rules were unknown to most entrepreneurs.
Faced with various problems, it was not possible for them to run the business. At one stage, the workers became unable to pay their salaries and allowances, rent and gas and electricity bills. For this, a case has been filed against the owners of these sick and closed factories.
The sick and closed factories in the ready-made garment sector are not able to ‘die in peace’ by imposing the responsibility of their bank loans on the government. For this, the factories wanted to get rid of the debt of Tk 6 crore owed to them by the bank.
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