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16 September, 2019 12:57:01 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 16 September, 2019 08:38:47 PM

TIB statement on loan rescheduling slanderous: Beximco

Staff Reporter, Dhaka
TIB statement on 
loan rescheduling 
slanderous: Beximco

Beximco Group yesterday vehemently protested a public statement issued by the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on September 13 and remarks of TIB executive director, which was published in The Daily Star the next day.

Addressing the Chairperson of TIB Board of Trustees, Beximco Group Chairman ASF Rahman in a protest note said, “Since the statement prominently conjoins a recent rescheduling of loans granted to Beximco Group, there are sufficient reasons to assume that the insinuation was aimed at our Vice Chairman, Salman Fazlur Rahman, who was elected a Member of Parliament from Dhaka-1 constituency in the last general election.”

Among other scurrilous allegations, he said, The Daily Star quoted the TIB executive director as saying, “Taking the advantage of loan rescheduling, a section of the plunderers gets the opportunity to become lawmakers.”

Citing media reports, the TIB statement focused on a case of rescheduling of loans granted to Beximco Group.

Originally, the Beximco Group chief said, “when the restructuring took place, as per the guidelines of Bangladesh Bank (BB), we commissioned an independent audit firm, duly approved by the Bank, to determine the potential cash flow in the years ahead. The auditor recommended granting us 12 years to repay the entire loan.”

However, he noted, “BB divided our loans as term loans and working capital loans, and granted a six-year repayment period for working capital loans, although at that time we informed the bank that our cash flow might not support a six-year repayment period.”

He continued, “Anticipating that normal installments of payment may be hindered given our current actual cash flow, we simply requested the BB to review the original decision and comply with the original recommendation of the independent auditor.”

The bank’s executive branch did not take any decision regarding this. Rather, he said, “the application was raised in its Board meeting. While we requested a review for only our loan, the Board also decided to grant the extension to other borrowers, whose accounts are regular.”

The Beximco Group chief also said, “We believe it is within our rights as a company to present our case to the central bank if we face any problem. All over the world, it is customary that if a large business group faces financial difficulties, the banks or the central bank intervenes and assists. We reiterate that ours is a running business. We are one of the first companies to have introduced corporate culture in the country’s private sector. Our group is well known for its CSR activities in various fields. We may also point out that we employ 60,000 skilled people directly and 200,000 people indirectly.”

“During the last eleven years, in addition to making huge contributions to various sectors of the country’s domestic market, we have also exported products worth over USD 3 billion. I am sure you will agree that our contribution to the country’s GDP is significant.”

He continued, “We, therefore, feel extremely insulted by the executive director calling us ‘plunderers.’ The remark has not only insulted our Vice Chairman, but also all Members of the Parliament who have had their loans rescheduled and, most importantly, 60,000 hardworking employees of our Group.”

Founded in 1965, Beximo Group has contributed to almost all major sectors—from pharmaceutical to readymade garments and textile—that have flourished in the country.

“We have maintained global standards in terms of quality of our products and business practice. Beximco Pharma was the first company to have been approved by USFDA and remains the only company in Bangladesh exporting pharmaceutical products to USA,” said Beximco Group chairman, adding, “Our garment factories are compliant with both Accord and Alliance’s guidelines in terms of health and safety. Our workers are among the best trained in the industry. Our ceramic arm, Shinepukur Ceramics, is among the only seven companies in the world that produce ‘Bone China’ ceramics.”

He viewed, “Since our Vice Chairman has long been affiliated to Bangladesh Awami League, Beximco was subjected to politically-motivated discriminatory treatment which resulted in denial of credit facilities to the Group during the BNP-led government, and the subsequent military-backed caretaker government, which also detained our Vice-Chairman on charges of corruption, which were subsequently proven false in the courts of law.”

According to him, “It is a well-established fact that the motive of the caretaker government was to depoliticize the country, and as part of the plan, successful businessmen were targeted and forced to pay extortion money for protection. Has the TIB criticized these illegal actions of the members of the caretaker government?”

The adverse politically-motivated actions against Beximco—such as depriving it of borrowing money from banks despite having sufficient cash flows—severely affected the company and caused irreversible damage. It has resulted in severe financial and image crisis for a company otherwise immensely successful, he noted.

He said, “Apart from blocking financial inflow to the Group, the pharmaceutical wing was denied to even open an LC for nearly two years, without citing any reasons. This itself is a testimony of how even our basic operations were hindered by state actors.”

He also pointed out, “The seven years of constant discriminatory behavior during the BNP and caretaker regimes against Beximco also led to a liquidity crisis within the company, as a result of which we were unable to make timely payments to the banks. The ramifications were so severe for a large company like ours is that we are yet to recover from it. In spite of us being so badly affected, in the eleven years since Awami League came to power, we paid over TK. 6,000 crores to banks. Our accounts with banks have remained regular and unclassified.”

“We are, therefore, surprised by the TIB statement referring to us as “a top-ranking loan defaulter.”

Noting that Beximco Group has enjoyed a long working relationship with the TIB board members, he said, “Such an offensive insinuation was beneath the TIB and its stated values.” TIB, he said, claims to promote transparency and rule of law in the country. “However, its statement based on opinionated newspaper reports, and its executive director’s slanderous remarks against Members of Parliaments including our Vice Chairman Salman Fazlur Rahman MP, are not only disappointing but also unbecoming of the institution,” he concluded, adding that he was writing this letter to place facts on record.





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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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