Pran-RFL runs into irregularities

Staff Correspondent

11 July, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Pran-RFL , one of the country’s leading business group, has fallen into deep crisis in financial management as the firm is now maintaining its debt rescheduling by taking new credit from different banks and non-bank financial institutions.

Allegation was also raised against the group for violating the port regulations by conducting illegal shipments of 30 containers of cement processing paper on plastic materials.

According to Bangladesh Bank data, the group enjoys a debit ceiling of about Tk 140 Billion in different names of various business ventures. The high ceiling has created concern among top executives of banks as almost all commercial banks have debit to the Pran-RFL group.

Bankers claimed that the business group is now taking new loans from different banks to reschedule the bad loans rather than invest in businesses which make them worried.

Customs data shows a business has to pay 32 percent import duty against plastic materials which is 91 percent in case of cement. Officials claimed the group made the mis-declaration to dodge customs duty of Tk 3.23 crore. Port authorities have already started laboratory testing of the seized cement products.

The central bank has also expressed its concern about the illegal shipments by the group and urged the port authorities to scan the port activities of Pran-RFL as the business entity shows an extended amount of incentive on shipments.

Regarding this allegation, Pran-RFL Group Chairman Ahsan Khan Chowdhury said there is no problem in financial transactions of the group as the company maintains fair transactions with banks.

“Besides, the shipment anomalies in port are conducted by foreign companies. So the allegation against Pran is not correct. We never adopt illegal ways,” said Ahsan and claimed the incident will not create any image crisis to the business.

Earlier, the central bank directed the commercial banks to stay cautious while sanctioning loans to Pran-RFL group as the extended debt ceiling to a specific group may make the financial sector vulnerable.

According to Bangladesh Bank Credit Information Buro(CIB), the group has taken credit from 34 commercial banks and non-bank financial institutions.

Pran Dairy has taken loan Tk 769 crore loan from19 banks while RFL plastics have taken Tk 529 crore from 15 banks. Pran Food borrowed Tk 646 crore from 13 banks and Pran Agro took Tk 646 crore loan from 12 banks. Pran Exports has taken Tk 39 crore loan from 4 banks and Pran Beverage has Tk 54 crore from 2 banks.

The group has taken loans in the name of different business entities including Bongo Building Materials which took Tk 430 crore loan from 15 banks, Natore Agro took Tk 194 crore from 7 banks and Mymensingh Agro took Tk 456 crore from 12 banks. Another venture of the company – Packmate Industries has taken exceeded amount of Tk 12.31 crore from 3 banks against the debt ceiling of Tk 12.31 crore which is ultimate violation of bank’s regulations.

Bongo Bakers have debt of Tk 54 crore from 3 banks while Bongo Millars took Tk 425 crore  from 11 banks. And Hobiganj Agro has debt of Tk 1407 crore to 24 banks.

The group has taken Tk 66 crore from 7 banks in name of Silvan Agriculture while Durable Plastic has debt of Tk 901 crore to 15 banks. Bongo Plastic has Tk 67 crore debt to 4 banks. Allplast Bangladesh has Tk 21 crore loans to 3 banks while Rangpur Metal has debt of Tk 653 crore to 18 banks and GreatWall enjoyed Tk 9 crore loan from 3 banks.

Apparel venture – Charka Textile has taken debt of Tk 65 crore from 3 banks while the group accounted Tk 49 crore loan against Bangladesh Lift Industries. Property Development has Tk 11 crore loan from 6 banks.

Sun Basic Chemicals took Tk 49 crore from 4 banks while Habiganj Textile took Tk 138 crore loan from 3 banks and RFL Electronics took Tk 140 crore from 6 banks.

In name of Advance Personal Care, the group withdrew Tk 40 crore from 3 banks while Silveran Technologies took Tk 111 crore from 3 banks and Pran Agro Business has debt of Tk 19 crore to a bank.

Irum Bangladesh takes Tk 11 crore from 3 bans while Ganga Foundry has debt of Tk 110 crore from 4 banks. Habiganj Metal Industries has debt of Tk 2 crore while Multi Line Industries took Tk 262 crore from 9 banks and RFL Enterprise took Tk 36 crore loan.

The standard regulatory organization found adulteration in different food products of Pran including – turmeric powder, curry powder, laccha semai, premium ghee. And finally High Court gave verdict to withdraw the product from the market during the Ramadan.