Sonali Bank fell short of its classified credit recovery target from top 20 defaulter organisations by a mile in the first eight months of this year.
The state-owned bank was able to retrieve only 0.43% during the period against the yearly target of Tk2,232 crore, according to the bank's Loan Recovery Division's data.
The 20 entities that defaulted on Tk4,083 crore account for over 37% of the bank's total classified loans.
Till June this year, Sonali Bank disbursed loans amounting to Tk54,684 crore, of which, around 18.93% or Tk10,351 crore got defaulted, according to Bangladesh Bank data.
Among them, Modern Steel Mills Limited, which is supposed to pay around Tk228 crore this year, has so far repaid Tk9.16 crore. The company owes over Tk457 crore to the bank.
On the other hand, Taipei Bangla Fabrics Ltd, a manufacturer and fabric supplier for sportswear mesh fabric, has not paid back a single penny in the last eight months against this year's payable amounting to Tk317 crore. The company defaulted on over Tk331 crore from Sonali Bank.
When contacted, Zohir Uddin Ahmed, executive director at Taipei Fabrics Ltd, admitted to defaulting on the amount but declined to make any comment.
"I have nothing to say to you about this. You contact Sonali Bank," he told The Business Standard.
The recovery from another defaulter, F R Jute Trading Co Ltd, amounted to only 0.79%, while its o.09% from Abdur Razzak Ltd.
Other top defaulters are T and Brother's Group, Halmark Group, Fair Trade Fabric, Rahman Group, Leena Group, Ratanpur Steel Re-Rolling Mills Ltd, Meghna Condensed Milk Industries Limited, Sonali Jute Mills Ltd, AK Jute Trading Co, Western Marine Shipyard Ltd, Supreme Jute & Knitex Ltd, Sunbeam Textile Mills Ltd, and Saiyan corporation.
None of them has paid back a single penny against Sonali Bank's target for the year.
Ataur Rahman Prodhan, managing director at Sonali Bank, told TBS, "Our target is to recover loans from defaulters by any means. We contact them personally. The bank's board is trying hard to recover the money from them."
"Besides, we formed committees headed by deputy managing directors. At the same time, we have gone for legal actions. Our attempt to retrieve the money through court is also on," he also said.
They also consider many companies not riding out pandemic-induced losses yet, he added.
Rahman Group has applied for rescheduling their loan and they might pay back Tk5-7 crore within a few days, he said.
"A warrant has recently been issued against Rahman Group too. We will in any way recover default loans," the Sonali Bank managing director added.
Despite various initiatives on the part of the government and the Bangladesh Bank, default loans continue to bloat in banks.
Till June this year, banks disbursed around Tk11.40 lakh crore in loans, of which, Tk95,243 crore was defaulted.
In April-June, the amount recovered stood at Tk1,075 crore, meaning that the overall rate was 1.89%.
The Bangladesh Bank gave the loan moratorium facility to borrowers to cushion the Covid-19 fallout for the entire 2020.
Later, the central bank relaxed its loan classification policy, considering the pandemic-led business slowdown.
Banks cannot classify any loans if borrowers pay 25% of each instalment of their loans until December this year. They will have to pay the remainder of each instalment within next year, according to the Bangladesh Bank circular.