• Thursday, May 19, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Evaly gets a week to explain its liability issues

  • Published at 06:14 pm August 11th, 2021

Also gets 3 weeks to address issues regarding its merchants

Evaly on Wednesday was given seven days to provide explanations on the queries sought by the Ministry of Commerce on its owed liabilities to customers, as well as three weeks to address its merchants.

A nine-member inter-ministerial committee, headed by Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh and representatives from the Home Ministry, ICT Division, Bangladesh Bank, National Board of Revenue (NBR), Directorate of National Consumers' Right Protection (DNCRP), and the Bangladesh Competition Commission, held a meeting in the conference room of the ministry in this regard on the day.

The committee decided to provide the new deadline in response to Evaly’s request for six months it sought earlier.

According to the commerce ministry, the decision was taken considering the interests of both the consumer and the sector. 

Additionally, the time provided should be enough for the platform to explain the queries, and further steps will be taken if the response is found to be unsatisfactory, as per the ministry.

Also Read - Evaly: Give us 6 months to explain how liabilities will be met

Consumers have also been asked to file cases with the DNCRP who have not been issued refunds. 

Although Evaly had issued refund checks with dates scheduled way ahead in the future, it had asked its customers to tear off the ‘refund check’ and send videos to get refunds in their bank accounts.

Following that customers started sharing recorded conversations on social media pages of the platform asking them to do so.

According to Evaly, they have been refunding customers who tore up checks and have done so fearing that customers will not tear off the check on getting refunds first.

A key industry insider, requesting anonymity, and who was part of the SOP formulation introduced by the Commerce Ministry, told Dhaka Tribune: “This is the opportunity of a lifetime for Evaly. Both consumers and merchants have complained about the platform to relevant bodies which amounted to crores of taka in liability. The decision and further decisions that are taken need to focus on the future of the industry and not just sentiments.” 

A senior Evaly official, requesting anonymity, said: "We will abide by the decision of the ministry, however, we have received no support to help our business sustain and help the consumers, despite our best efforts."

In an inspection report submitted to the Commerce Ministry in June, Bangladesh Bank said Evaly's total liabilities stood at Tk407.18 crore. After receiving Tk213.94 crore in advance from customers and Tk189.85 crore from merchants, the company was expected to have at least Tk403.80 crore in current assets, but it only had Tk65.17 crore.

Also Read - Is Evaly a Ponzi scheme?

On July 17, several banks, including Brac Bank, Bank Asia, Dhaka Bank, City Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, and Prime Bank suspended their transactions with Evaly.

Following the central bank report, the Ministry of Commerce asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to file a case against Evaly over the alleged embezzlement of Tk338 crore taken as an advance from customers.

On the same day, Evaly Managing Director Mohammad Rassel and his wife Shamima Nasrin, the chairman of the e-commerce firm, were barred from traveling abroad by a Dhaka court.

The Commerce Ministry also wrote to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to initiate relevant legal actions against the online marketplace over the reported irregularities.

The ministry also issued operational guidelines for the e-commerce sector in response to the growing impact of digital platforms on the current economic progress of the country and the challenges posed by them.

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