Home  -  Back Issues  -  The Team  -  Contact Us
     Volume 8 Issue 78 | July 17, 2009 |

  Cover Story
  Current Affairs
  Food for Thought
  Photo Feature
  One Off
  Book Review
  Star Diary
  Write to Mita
  Post Script

   SWM Home


The Tipaimukh Threat

Thanks to the Star Magazine for the cover story regarding the Tipaimukh Dam with a beautiful cover that reminds us of the beauty of Rupushi Bangla as pictured by Jibonanondo Das. This issue is a vital one since the dam that is being built on the Barak river will surely be a threat for this riverine country. As per the opinion that has been expressed by the different specialists it is clear that any kind of barrier to the natural flow cannot bring any good to the environment. Especially the positive correlation between dam and earthquake should be taken seriously. What is very necessary is to collect all the information and take serious diplomatic action. Already foreign minister Dipu Moni has met with the External Affairs Minister SM Krishna where she has been assured that any kinds of decision that may do any harm would not be taken. But we should not sit idle because it is a huge project and the beneficiaries from this project will not let it go so easily.
Shakawat Hossain
Department of Accounting
Govt City College Chittagong

Commuters' Woes
The traffic problem in Dhaka is getting worse day by day. Even the method of communication is primitive especially in our Dhaka medical College area. There is no direct bus or ticket bus of any direction only local buses, which are in deplorable condition. Even the local bus is always packed with people and most of the time people hang from the door risking their life. Of course the pickpockets are quite common and so even if you don't lose an arm or a leg, you will quite often lose your wallet. In this situation it becomes tough for all students and the citizens to move. In busy places like Mirpur Road, Satmasjid Road etc. Therefore we ask the transportation companies to implement a good bus service, as there is a strong demand for this.
Md Mahbubur Rahman

Greed Spawns Loan Defaulters
Years back a state-owned bank in Bangladesh had introduced a unique scheme titled “Maximum Incentive for Recovery of A Classified Loan Entirely”, in short MIRACLE, that was very popular both to the bank employees and the bank management for the scheme's win-win characteristics.
Under the scheme MIRACLE, if you as a field official of the bank recovered one entire 'bad loan' (the worst classified loan) you could pocket 10 percent of interest accrued thereon as your own. Thus the bank was freed of the seemingly unrecoverable loan and you also could take home an extra income.
But the fragrance of money is very infectious. Enticed and intoxicated by extra income of ‘miracle’ incentives poorly paid field supervisors of the bank became desperate in search of shortcuts that could yield more easy incentives, e.g. more money to pocket for less labour. They found recovery of truly bad loans too tough and too time-consuming. So, like fruit vendors’ forceful ripening immature mangoes with lethal chemicals they decided to forcibly twist recoverable good loans into recoverable bad loans. Instead of encouraging honest borrowers to pay back their loans in time they rather whispered to them: “Why hurry? Wait till your matured loan becomes a little older, a little more stinky.” The bank management, to their chagrin, found out that good loans, which were historically performing assets, were suddenly becoming non-performing.
It has become more common in our country for borrowers to default on loans than to repay them. 'Not to pay back loan' is a culture that has been ingrained deep into our genes not only in our country but also the whole world over.
Such defaulting borrowers, who greased the palms of the bankers and who were all along patronised by unscrupulous political zealots, will never pay off their loan because they knows well they will manage an order from the High Court to defer for an indefinite period an auction of his costly residential building which was offered as an additional collateral security or because he is sure that the lending bank will never find a buyer of the property because the ownership title of the mortgaged property is itself defective.
The idea of forming asset management companies with a view to recovering bad loans is excellent, if the banks, before handing over the non-performing assets to those companies, correctly diagnose the weaknesses and strengths of the borrowers concerned and the asset management companies are provided with stronger teeth to extract the truly bad loans from the willful defaulters. But, if such transactions mimic those of MIRACLE, the scheme of a state-owned bank that was misused by field officials an unholy equation may be developed between banks and asset management companies that would rather facilitate transferring to asset management companies recoverable good loans in the shape and package of ostensibly bad loans causing wastage of precious resources.
Maswood Alam Khan

More Respect for Beggars
In our society we have chiefly three socio-economic classes. Beggars live below the poverty line. They are the group that is ultra-poor. Sometimes we are very bothered by them, especially when they approach us on the street. However we fail to realise that they are human beings like us and the creation of our very own society. We need to understand that they need attention and support from their fellow human beings who are better off.
A few months ago our honourable finance minister spoke of a model for eliminating begging within five years according to the election manifesto. We hope to see this idea implemented properly so that beggars may find a better life.
Ahsan Uddin Tohel
Shah Jalal University of Science and Technology


Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2009