Saturday, 18 August 2018
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‘All govt and private banks are under the same alliance’s guidance’


AFSAN CHOWDHURY, senior journalist and researcher :  What is the difference between the leadership of government banks and the owners of private ones? Both state-owned and private banks are owned by the same group, said eminent journalist and researcher Afsan Chowdhury. His comments came during a recent interview, mainly focusing on private banks requesting money from state-owned banks.
He said money from government banks going to private ones is not a significant concern for the  government and nor for those in power. The government obviously tailors its decision in favour of the wealthy, who do not seem to be affected by the government’s economic situation. If they did not favor the wealthy, how did so many governments became wealthy themselves? I do not think this revelation embarrasses the government at all. This is because the wealth is transferred to the rich through the banking system. So it is not a surprise that effort is spent in making this process more efficient.
Many do not understand that our country’s economic system is based on diplomatic capitalism and it is not based on the market. A capitalistic system based on communication favors those who possess a ‘network’. Politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen – they are all a part of this network and they are all businessmen. Everyone in Bangladesh is a businessman now. If people belonging to the government are the ones who establish private banks, what really is the difference between the two? Authorization for private banks is given once the financial situation of the market is examined. Those who supervise the banking sector are of no use at all. This proves that state-owned and private banks are run by the same group.
What would be the outcome if private banks lend money to the state banks? To this, I’d ask what would happen if five thousand crore taka was stolen? Other countries also have corruption in their economy, but the level in our own economy is something else. During the Ziaur Rahman-regime, when the private banks were being given authorization, my father was the secretary of a bank. He was a banker all his life. When he found the private bank files outdoors, he was told not to worry about them. My father gave his opinion as a banker that no private bank was safe. This was back in 1980. How vast this unsafe organization has grown the last 38 years.


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