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During the passage of Bankers’ Book Evidence Bill 2021, the minister came under fire by the opposition MPs for his “failure” to stop money laundering.

The finance minister claimed that the amount of defaulted loans is now the lowest in the country since independence.

“In 2006, the total amount of the defaulted loan was 13.15 per cent. The amount of default loan is Tk 1011.50 billion as of September. This is 8.12 per cent, 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.

About the banking sector, Mustafa Kamal said the main driving force of the economy of a country is its banking sector.

“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 243,000.

Regarding various irregularities against e-commerce, the finance minister said action is being taken against them, too.

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