Black Money

Replying to a question, the Prime Minister said the scope of whitening the black money was given mainly to stop siphoning off the money and allowing investment of the money.

“We are giving scope to invest the (black) money to stop it from being smuggled out of the country. Not only we, but also the previous governments gave the scope,” she said.

The black money can be invested in the 100 economic zones and high-tech parks which are being set up, she said, adding that the scope has been given after taking a specific interest.

One can invest the (black) money after giving additional 10 percent interest, she continued, adding that the scope was also given so they (black money holders) can pay their bank loans.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Bangladesh Bank and international agencies are on hot pursuit to capture the siphoning off the money, she informed.

The premier, however, said there is no scope for the honest people to be discouraged with giving the scope of whitening the black money, saying, “I have to give many tough tests for honesty. But I have never been frustrated as honesty has a power and I have the power always in me.”

Bank Loan Default

Regarding bank loan default, Sheikh Hasina said, “We are giving the bank loan defaulters a scope to pay the loans.”

If they fail to avail the scope, action will be taken against them, she said.

The premier requested the media including print and electronic to write about the bank loan defaults after paying bank loans taken by the media owners and said, “You (media people) don’t need to question me about the bank loan default if you gather information regarding loans taken by owners of the media outlets and how much they have paid back.”

The amount of bank loan defaults was shown bigger as it is counted with the cycling order of interest, she said, adding that the amount of the actual loan is smaller.

Describing high interest rate as one of the reasons for bank loan default, she said, “I have given the private banks many advantages to bring down the interest rate against loan to single digit. But, they were yet to materialize it.”

Tough directives have been given to reduce the bank loan interest to single digit to attract investment and initiatives have been taken to amend several related laws, she said.