The central bank, instead of going after our investors, would do well to look into the struggles of the financial sector
It comes as a surprise to no one that, despite our impressive economic growth in recent times, our financial sector has not been one of the brighter spots, to say the least.
To that end, while much of the struggles for the financial sector boils down to the culture of impunity, gross negligence, and favouritism in our country, it goes without saying that Bangladesh Bank itself has made some questionable decisions -- decisions that have, rather than aid our crippled banking sector, only further exacerbated the problems.
Nowhere is this more apparent than the policy that Bangladeshi businesspeople are required to get authorization from Bangladesh Bank on any and all foreign investment, even if it’s for a minute amount.
In a recent laughable story, ACI Limited had to get permission from the central bank to make an investment of a paltry $100 in the US.
This is simply ridiculous.
What makes matters worse are the arduous processes involved in receiving this permission; bureaucracy and red tape continue to exist at every step.
Such retrograde policies do nothing but discourage our entrepreneurs, treating their efforts to earn foreign currency legally as a means of money laundering.
It is most discouraging that, instead of cracking down on the real issues that plague our banking sector, such as the ever-increasing burden of non-performing loans, it instead chooses to focus on rescheduling these loans while making life difficult for our investors.
It is also nothing but hypocritical that we desire foreign direct investment into our country, while at the same time, discourage our own investors from earning foreign currency.
Therefore, the central bank, instead of going after our investors, would do well to look into the struggles of the financial sector and fix the problems that already exist instead of creating new ones.