The commerce ministry has formed an inter-ministerial committee to decide the future of e-commerce platform Evaly.
Headed by Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh, the nine-member committee is scheduled to hold a meeting on 11 August in this regard, said the ministry's Additional Secretary and also a member of the committee Md Hafizur Rahman.
"The committee is made of representatives from the home ministry, ICT Division, Bangladesh Bank, National Board of Revenue (NBR), Directorate of National Consumers' Right Protection and Bangladesh Competition Commission," he added.
The commerce ministry last July directed Evaly to submit information – from its inception to 15 July – regarding the money the e-commerce platform had charged their customers, payments made to merchants, outstanding payments, and the company's plans to pay them.
Evaly however failed to submit the data to the authorities concerned within the 1 August deadline, and requested another six months for this purpose.
"The committee will decide whether Evaly would get a time extension to submit the information sought by authorities. It will also decide the next course of action if the e-commerce platform's request for deadline extension gets denied," Hafizur added.
In an inspection report last June, the Bangladesh Bank said Evaly took Tk214 crore from their customers up until 14 March this year, but it did not deliver the products to them. Besides, the platform is yet to pay Tk190 crore to its merchants.
Evaly's current assets are worth only Tk65 crore, which means that the platform would only be able to pay 16% of its dues to customers and merchants with their total assets.
Mentioning that Evaly itself had supplied this information to the central bank, the report continues, "The platform's total liabilities may even be higher than what they reported. Because Evaly did not grant Bangladesh Bank's officials access to its replica database."
After missing the 1 August deadline for submitting the information sought by authorities, Evaly sent a letter to the commerce ministry the same day seeking a six-month time extension.
On August 2, Evaly's Managing Director and CEO Mohammad Rasel told The Business Standard, "We have appointed an external auditor to calculate the company's valuation and liabilities.
"An audited report would be more acceptable, and this is why we sought a time extension of six months."