Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Md Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin on Sunday demanded exemplary punishment of the persons involved in plundering money from banks.
‘We demand exemplary punishment of those who looted money from banks. All businesses should not be regarded as dishonest due to wrongdoings by the black sheep of the community,’ Mohiuddin said at a meeting with the presidents of the country’s trade associations held at the Dhaka Club.
FBCCI, the apex trade body in the country, organised the meeting to take recommendations from the associations over the upcoming national budget and to discuss the Vision 2041 of FBCCI.
Mohiuddin said that the amount of non-performing loans in the country’s banking sector exceeded Tk 1,00,000 crore and FBCCI never supported the people who looted money from banks.
‘Wilful loan defaulters and persons involved in irregularities in the banking sector must be punished,’ Mohiuddin said.
The FBCCI president questioned why the medium and small entrepreneurs would not be allowed to enjoy the same loan rescheduling facility as the businesses with loans above Tk 500 crore got.
‘Any disparity in this regard is not acceptable,’ he said.
Mohiuddin said that the trade body was working to ensure equal facilities to all export sectors to reduce dependency only on the textile and garment sector.
He also said that the business community extended their support to prime minister Sheikh Hasina for continuation of the government for the sake of country’s economic development and FBCCI did not want to see any corrupt politician or businessperson in the key posts of the government.
‘We want fairness return in politics and business,’ Mohiuddin added.
At the meeting, the presidents of trade associations demanded single-digit interest rate of bank loans and stopping harassment of businesses by tax officials.
They also expressed their anger over the amount of non-performing loans saying that the businesspersons who made repayment on regular basis were not getting required money from banks due to the NPLs.
The business leaders requested FBCCI to ensure financing for the compliant businesspeople.
Abul Hassem, president of Sugar Merchant Association, said that despite assurance from the prime minister, nine per cent interest rate on loans was not implemented.
Ismail Hossain, acting president of Bangladesh Automobiles Workshop Owners Association, demanded inclusion of automobile workshop in the master plan of the city.
ABM Masud, representative of Bangladesh Tanners Association, demanded setting up a desk to identify the problems various business sectors were facing and taking initiative to resolve those.
He said that tanneries were relocated to Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, for ensuring green production but the sector was losing buyers as the central effluent treatment plant was yet to be functional.
Ali Zaman, president of Small and Medium Enterprises Owners’ Association of Bangladesh, demanded accommodating small associations in the newly built FBCCI building on Hatkhola Road in the city.
‘You are becoming the next president of FBCCI with the blessings of prime minister Sheikh Hasina and I will make request for your equal treatment towards all business sectors,’ he said drawing attention of FBCCI senior vice-president Sheikh Fazle Fahim.
At the meeting, association leaders extended their support to Fahim in the next FBCCI president election.
Fahim is son of ruling Awamil League lawmaker Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim and nephew of prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
The biennial elections of the board of directors of FBCCI for the tenure of 2019-2021 will be held on April 27.
As per the rules, president would be elected from chamber group for this term.
Fahim is the president of Gopalganj Chamber of Commerce and Industry.