The finance minister says a law is being drafted in this regard and it is in the final stage
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday said the merger of Padma Bank with other banks might take place once a law is passed in this regard.
"Of course, we can consider the proposal. But for doing that, a law needs to be passed in this regard," he said in response to questions after chairing meetings on the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase.
The minister said that the law is being drafted and is in the final stage.
"Once it is brought to National Parliament and passed, then the operations for the bank merger will begin," he said.
Saying that he has yet to receive any proposal regarding merger of Padma Bank, Kamal said that all the state-owned commercial banks like Sonali Bank, Janata Bank, Agrani Bank, and Rupali Bank have shares in the Padma Bank.
Apart from this, representatives of the state-owned commercial banks are also on the board of Padma Bank.
The minister said that initially those who were associated with this bank could not run it properly and were involved in alleged corruption.
"Following the filing of cases, legal procedures are going on while the culprits are in jail now."
Kamal said that the government would have to look after the interest of the shareholders of the bank so that the bank is not shut down and thus its operations continue.
"For this, the state-owned banks earlier came to its rescue."
Over Padma Bank's bid to raise foreign funding, Kamal said anyone abiding by the law can try to raise foreign funds.
"If the foreign investors think it is viable to invest in the bank after seeing its balance sheet, then anyone can invest," he continued.
The finance minister, however, said that Padma Bank needs to be compliant with all the existing rules and regulations.
When Farmers Bank, which later turned into Padma Bank, was nearing collapse owing to lending anomalies since its inception in 2013, the four state-owned banks and the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh came up with a Tk715 crore bailout in 2018.
Also Read - Padma Bank gets 5 years to pay 55C penalty
When sought details of a Panama-based company named Business Research International Corporation Inc (BRIC), that recently got the contract in joint venture for setting up a 50MW (AC) solar power plant at Terokhada upazila in Khulna, Kamal said no anomalies were found regarding the company.
The finance minister said the government would not invest in the solar power plant, rather the joint venture investors would invest and thus produce power.
"The government will buy electricity from them while the total investment will be made by the joint venture."
Earlier on September 22, the CCGP meeting approved the proposal for setting up the 50MW solar power plant in Khulna.