Thursday, September 19, 2019

Bank officials fail to attend parliamentary meeting on lending rate cuts

  • Staff Correspondent
    Published: 2019-04-16 01:08:41 BdST


Bank executives have failed to turn up in a parliamentary committee meeting over measures to reduce interest rates on lending to a single digit despite being called to attend the discussion.

Members of the parliamentary committee on public undertakings have aired their dissatisfaction over the matter.

"The meeting started at 11am before concluding at 1:45 pm. Asked about their whereabouts at the start of the meeting, those present had said that they were 'on the way'. In the end, none of them showed up," ASM Feroz, the committee's chairman, told reporters after the meeting on Monday.

The managing directors of state-owned banks, the chairman of bank executives' organisation ABB, and the chairman of private bank enterpreneur's body BAB, were invited to the discussion. 

"They are not taking steps to bring the interest rate on bank loans down to single digit despite promising to do so.

"Discussions have been ongoing for a while now. But the committee is concerned about the matter," said Feroz.

Feroz, the MP for Patuakhali-2, added: "They said that they'd be able to reduce interest rates to a single digit if 50 percent of the government's funds are deposited in private banks. But it's sad that they haven't delivered on their pledge despite being given the facility."

The parliamentary panel has called on the central bank to implement measures to ensure single-digit interest rates.

"We have told Bangladesh Bank that the interest rates must come down to a single digit within the next two months in accordance with the prime minister's instructions. Bangladesh Bank has been directed to sign separate agreements with banks to this end."