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BB seeks bank-loan information against parliamentary poll contestants

Published : Sunday, 3 December, 2023 at 12:00 AM  Count : 1436

Bangladesh Bank has issued a notification to all public and private banks and financial institutions on Thursday, demanding most recent information on bank loans of individuals vying to participate in the upcoming election.

The move is rooted in Article 12 of the Representation of People Order 1972, which explicitly states that defaulters are ineligible to become members of the Jatiya Sangsad The amendment, introduced to the law in July this year, now requires candidates to settle any default loans even just one day before filing the nomination papers.

Historically, there was a provision allowing loan defaulters to regularize their loan status through rescheduling at least seven days before the submission of nomination papers.

However, the electoral landscape saw changes before the 2018 elections, leading to amendments in the rules pertaining to  repayment of bank loans.

The recent modification not only mandates prompt repayment but also eliminates requirement to send loan rescheduling proposals to central bank. Banks are now empowered to autonomously reschedule defaulted loans, further streamlining the process for potential candidates.

This adjustment in regulations raises concerns for defaulters whether or not they can participate in elections, given the shortened timeframe for loan repayment and the absence of a mandatory rescheduling deposit.

As the country gears up for the 12th National elections, the impact of these changes on the candidate pool and the financial integrity of the electoral process remain to be seen, experts say.

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