Dr Mashiur Rahman, the economic affairs adviser to the prime minister, has said that instead of creating obstacles authorities concerned need to formulate appropriate policies for the growth of the country's e-commerce industry.
"In this era of technology, when Bangladesh's ICT sector is expanding incrementally, let's not hinder the progress of the e-commerce business," he added.
The adviser was attending a discussion titled "Post-Covid Economic Recovery: How Prepared Is The Banking Sector" – organised by law firm The Lawyers & Jurists – as the keynote speaker on Saturday.
Dr Mashiur said, "Several e-commerce companies have illegally taken money from their customers. But those who gave money in hope of extra profit should've had a better understanding of things.
"I will advise them to be more careful. Besides, it is not right for the government to give compensations. I hope that the central bank will address the weaknesses regarding regulating e-commerce sites."
He lauded Bangladesh Bank (BB) for providing financial support to local businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. "But now we have to focus on how these incentive loans will be recovered."
Former BB governor Dr Salehuddin Ahmed echoed Dr Mashiur.
He, speaking as the special guest, said, "The kind of irregularities that we see in the e-commerce sector shows that we lack experienced people in this field."
He said that the number of defaulted loans has increased. "We have to find out the main factors behind this, strengthen monitoring, and take immediate measures."
"It's not a good sign for the banking sector as the central bank is giving various amenities to the banks which are failing to maintain Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR)."
BB Deputy Governor Abu Farah Md Naser said, "The government, in a bid to keep the country's economy afloat, announced stimulus packages for businesses on 5 April last year. As of 20 June, 2021, we have distributed around 80% of all the packages announced."
"We are also giving more attention to the SME. Women entrepreneurs now can take loans at 5% interest. Meanwhile, microfinance institutions are getting loans at 7% interest," he added.
Mutual Trust Bank Ltd (MTB) MD and CEO Mahbubur Rahman Syed said, "We are trying to provide loans to the microfinance institutions that are suffering due to the ongoing pandemic."
"Many people got conned by some e-commerce companies. There was a lack of awareness among the officials of BB and other banks who were related to this sector. The scams could've been averted if these companies were monitored properly," observed Supreme Court (SC) lawyer Barrister AM Masum.