Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Saturday disclosed in parliament a list of the country's top 300 loan defaulters, who swallowed Tk 509.42 billion worth of bank money.
This figure makes up around half the total default loans of Tk 1.02 trillion with banks and non-banking institutions until 2018.
The number of total loan defaulters reached 170,390 in December 2018, up from more than 58,000 in September 2015.
The total amount of default loans also increased by 73 per cent to Tk 1.02 trillion during the period, the finance minister told parliament.
He made the disclosure while responding to a written question from ruling party lawmaker Israfil Alam.
Mr Kamal said these defaulters took out loans from both public and private-owned banks and non-banking financial institutions.
The finance minister also disclosed a list of borrowers who took out more than Tk 50 million loans from all banks.
Responding to another question from Workers Party lawmaker Lutfun Nesa Khan, Mr Kamal said the environment was not in favour of business people during the period when the number of loan defaulters and loan amount saw a steep rise.
Blaming the lenders, Mr Kamal said the banks failed to choose good borrowers while lending money.
"A loan becomes risky when there is a deficiency in collateral, submitting the same mortgage in more than one bank and showing the artificially inflated value of their assets," he said. "Under such circumstances, the possibility of bad loans rises."
The finance minister said it causes stagnation when any loan gets defaulted and this creates hurdle for both loan distribution and collection.
He said the government has offered a special loan facility for restructuring the long unpaid loans aiming to maintain the normal credit flow while ensuring economic development of the country.
"With this, it is hoped the amount of unpaid loans will decline in the banking sector," he said.
Replying to Israfil Alam's question about recapitalising some banks by the government, the minister said the government provided Tk 136.12 billion between fiscal year 2015-16 and FY 2018-19 as they were suffering from capital shortfall.
Replying to a question from ruling party lawmaker Mohammad Salim, he said state-owned banks waived the interest of around Tk 12.0 billion last year against more than 6,000 loans.
Agrani Bank Ltd waived the highest amount of Tk 4.9 billion against 2,008 loans while Bangladesh Krishi Bank did it amounting to Tk 4.35 billion against 66 loans, Rupali Bank Ltd Tk 1.3 billion against 203 loans, Sonali Bank Ltd Tk 730 million against 14 loans, Janata Bank Ltd Tk 540 million against 2,473 loans, Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank Tk 435 million against 1,380 loans and BASIC Bank Ltd waived Tk 169 million against 19 loans.
Bangladesh Development Bank did not waive any interest during the period, he said.
He noted that the outstanding amount of loans with 300 defaulters was Tk 705.7 billion while the classified amount was Tk 528.4 billion.
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