Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Saturday said he has no idea who is actually siphoning off money from the country and asked the opposition MPs to provide him with a list of money launderers.
“I don’t siphon off money. I believe you (MPs) also don't. How will I be able to know of those who're siphoning off money if you don’t provide me with a list!” he said.
The finance minister claimed that the amount of default loans is now the lowest in the country since independence.
“In 2006, the total amount of the default loan was 13.15 percent. The amount of default loan is Tk 101, 150 crore as of September. This is 8.12 percent, and it’s the lowest,” he insisted.
While participating in the discussion on the Bill, several opposition MPs alleged that thousands of crores of Taka were siphoned off abroad from the country.
The opposition MPs demanded a reply from the finance minister and demanded formation of a banking commission to look into these matters.
When the finance minister sought a list of money launderers from the opposition MPs, several BNP and JP MPs at that time were seen saying something to him. “The finance minister cannot talk about the list. Let me say it again…I’ve said many times, I do not know. You (MPs) inform me,” Mustafa Kamal said.
“We’re doing well when the world economy is in turmoil. If you have any proof that Bangladesh's economy is lagging behind our neighboring country, South Asia and Southeast Asia, in that case you come to me, and I’ll get you to the solution. Of course, I’ll do it responsibly.”
The finance minister went on saying, “The way MPs are speaking it seems that there is no economy in the country, there is no banking sector in the country, [as if] there’s nothing in the country. If there’s nothing, how’re we improving? How has our growth been without these?”
Mustafa Kamal said the number of banks has increased in the country, customers have increased, deposits have increased and every bank is making profit.
He said cases were filed against those who have committed irregularities with loans and the number of ongoing cases is around 2.43 lakh.
Regarding various irregularities against e-commerce, the finance minister said action is being taken against them, too.