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Staff Correspondent

Businessmen are yet to be refunded Taka 1,223 crore, which was taken during the highly controversial one-eleven government, even after 12 years. As a result, frustration has gripped the domestic and foreign investors. Many investors see the issue as a major obstacle to investment.

According to economists, local and foreign investors are in crisis as traders have not got their money back.  As a result, Bangladesh is lagging behind at least 10 years.

The government and various organizations backed by the government illegally withdrew Taka 1,232 crore from the traders at different times of 2007. It created a scourge in the business, trade and investment sectors in the country.

According to sources, the traders expected that they would get their money back after a democratic government come to power. But instead of refunding the money, Bangladesh Bank has been appealing repeatedly against the verdict of the court. It’s passing year after year but the businessmen are not getting back their money.

Many of the concerned traders said it was important to return the money to create an investment-friendly environment. But it is unfortunate that the government has not refunded the traders yet.

Many of the organizations were public limited companies. The general public also invested in these companies in the share market. Thus the common investors have also suffered loss. Not only that, domestic and foreign investors are still fearful about investing in new investments. Many of them could not return paid back bank loans. Some people have been defaulters with huge amount. Why the traders are being deprived of their cash payments is a mystery.

In March 16, 2017, the High Court ordered the authorities concerned to return the money of the traders within three months. Later, the verdict was reviewed in the Appellate Division. The matter is still under the consideration of the High Court.

Sources said that from April 2007 to November 2008, an intelligence agency and Task Force Intelligence (TFI) officials collected Tk 1,232 crore from around 40 people and organizations. This money was deposited as government 0900 number in Bangladesh Bank through two hundred pay orders. Not only the money, many businessmen were also jailed at that time.

After the Awami League-led Grand Alliance government came to power, many of the ministers and MPs on said the money was illegal. In the context of 11 different writ petitions, the High Court ordered to return about taka 615.55 crore within three months. Bangladesh Bank appeals against this verdict given by the High Court at different times.

When asked, one of the top officials of the Bangladesh Bank said, “The government knows how the money is there. However, the money was deposit in current account so there was no interest in this money.

Many top officials of the central bank said that the government may think to refund the money.