Home Bangladesh Bank accounts of housewives swelling
Bangladesh - Bank & Finance - 4 weeks ago

Bank accounts of housewives swelling

Mahfuz Emran: The court ordered the freezing of the bank accounts of former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed and his related interests due to allegations of illegal wealth acquisition and corruption. Although the investigation of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) says that Benazir and his family left the country after withdrawing about hundred crores in cash from 33 bank accounts before being frozen.
And these money were deposited in the bank in the last decade. During this time, he served in important positions of the government like director general of RAB and inspector general of police.
National Board of Revenue (NBR) official in the face of severe criticism like Benazir. It is known from various sources that Matiur Rahman has fled abroad. Allegations of illegally earning thousands of takaare being raised against this government official who is discussed in ‘Goat incident’. In that sense, besides buying land, cars, houses, he has owned several companies. ACC and Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) sources say that Motiur Rahman, his two wives and children had deposits of more than Tk 100 crore in the country’s banks.
Most of these funds have been withdrawn in the last few days.
Both Benazir Ahmed and Matiur Rahman are senior government officials. They have been filing income tax returns for many years. At the time of opening the bank account, they identified themselves as ‘service holders’ or employees. And the occupation of their wives is shown as ‘housewife’. They keep the illegally earned money as savings or fixed deposits in the bank. According to NBR sources, they have concealed their sources of income and assets in their income tax returns. They also did not give the complete information of cash held as bank.
According to the data of Bangladesh Bank, Tk 2 lakh 96 thousand 144 crores of employees are now deposited in the country’s banks, which is the highest among private sector deposits. Out of this, Tk 1 lakh 14 thousand 632 crore is as fixed deposit.
Housewives have the third highest deposits in banks. Till March this year, their deposits were Tk 2 lakh 1 thousand 784 crore. Of this, Tk 97,297 crores were term deposits. Deposits of working people and housewives have been steadily increasing for several years despite high inflation.
Economists and bank officials say that according to the existing salary structure of the country, it is difficult to meet the daily expenses with the salary and allowances that the highest-level employees get. At the end of the month, ordinary jobbers do not have any surplus money. Rather, a large part of them are taking credit cards or loans from various sources.
In this situation, the deposits of the employees in the banks are the ‘illegally’ earned money of the public and private senior officials. Officers of this category are also keeping money in the bank in the name of close relatives including wife, mother, sister. In addition to senior employees, bank account deposits of housewives are also swelling.
Former Cabinet Secretary Ali Imam Majumdar says that corruption is not limited to government officials. This disease has spread to all levels of society. He told, “There is no public-private sector that is free from corruption. Businessmen taking money from banks are not returning it, extortion is being done in the name of politics. Many types of complaints are being raised against university vice-chancellors, including recruitment trade. Hundreds of crores of bribes are being committed in educational buildings or education boards. Fake research is being done in the name of Ph.D. All these falls into corruption. Illegally earned money is spent in various ways. Some are buying houses and cars and spending on luxury. It is not unusual that some money will be deposited in the bank.
According to the information of the annual report of the Ministry of Public Administration, the total number of government employees at the end of 2021 was Tk 15 lakh 54 thousand 927. Among them Tk 1 lakh 95 thousand 679 first class officials. Second class officers were Tk 1 lakh 70 thousand 189 people. The rest are third- and fourth-class employees. The basic salary of government officials of the first class (ninth grade) is now Tk 22 thousand to a maximum of Tk 53,060. And the basic salary of grade-1 or the highest level government officials is Tk 78 thousand. That is, as IGP of Police, Benazir Ahmed used to get basic salary like Tk 78 thousand. Along with other allowances, government grade-1 officials get a salary of Tk 1 lakh.
On the condition of anonymity, an important official of the government of the rank of secretary told, “Despite working in the highest grade, it is very difficult to manage the family expenses with the salary and allowance that I get at the end of the month. Salary money ends before the 20th day of the month. In this situation there is no question of having surplus money to save. The salary that lower rank government employees get is not supposed to meet daily expenses. But we see that the main buyers of plots and flats in Gulshan-Banani or Purbachal are government officials and employees. Due to the spread of irregularities and corruption, the violence of black money has increased in the society.
According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) 2022 Labor Force Survey, the average monthly salary of employed people in the country is only Tk 13,669. Among them, the employees employed in the highest position (manager) get an average salary of Tk 36,139 per month. Average monthly salary of professionals is Tk 21,187 taka.
Those concerned say that it is difficult for a working person working on such a low wage to meet his daily expenses. The prevailing reality is that many ordinary workers are breaking down their savings. The deposit status shown as bank of employees is not that of general employees. Illegal money of people working at high level in public and private sector is being stored as bank deposits. In this case, the illegal income of middle and lower-level corrupt officials is also being deposited in the bank.
According to the data of Bangladesh Bank, at the end of March this year, the total number of accounts in the country’s banks was Tk 15 crore 71 lakh 20 thousand 227. According to these, deposits of Tk 17 lakh 62 thousand 303 crore were deposited. Out of this, Tk 6 lakh 75 thousand 708 public sector banks had deposits of Tk 2 lakh 92 thousand 90 crores. Private sector institutional bank accounts were Tk 1 crore 58 lakh 23 thousand 86. According to these, the status of deposited deposits was Tk 5 lakh 19 thousand 52 crores. Most of the bank accounts Tk 14 crore 6 lakh 21 thousand 433 are private sector or private. The deposit status of these banks was Tk 9 lakh 51 thousand 161 crores.
By reviewing the data of the Central Bank, it can be seen that there are Tk 5 lakh 35 thousand 929 bank accounts with deposits of more than 25 lakh rupees among individual depositors. As such, deposits of Tk 3 lakh 17 thousand 622 crores are deposited, which is 33.39 percent of the total deposits of individuals. It is considered very difficult for a common employee to save more than Tk 25 lakh as a bank.
Banks of housewives are accumulating deposits at an unusual rate as well as working people. At the end of March this year, deposits of Tk 2 lakh 1 thousand 784 crore were deposited in the name of housewives in the country’s banks. In terms of amount, it is close to the deposits of traders and industrialists of the country. As of March, the total deposits of traders and industrialists as banks were Tk 2 lakh 17 thousand 958 crores. However, in terms of deposit growth, housewives are ahead of businessmen, expatriates, industrialists, doctors, engineers, lawyers in the Bangladesh Bank report. In March 2019, the deposit amount of housewives as bank was Tk 1 lakh 8 thousand 478 crores. Accordingly, since that time, their deposits have grown by about 86 percent.
Although the research and survey of various organizations say that about 74 percent of women in the country have not yet reached bank services. Women in the country are still far behind in terms of participation in the labor market. Again, they are being discriminated against in terms of reasonable wages. Many complaints of deprivation of women are also heard regarding the right to inherited property. Women are accused of being discriminated against by banks in getting loans as entrepreneurs. The contrary picture of the story of so much deprivation, discrimination, deprivation and neglect is seen in the accumulated deposits of housewives in the bank.
The executive director of research institute Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) thinks that the amount of bank deposits of housewives is unusual. Fahmida Khatun. He told, “The trend of savings among housewives is quite good. They show efficiency in household expenses. They can keep some money in the bank from their monthly savings. But the amount of money deposited in the bank in the name of housewives is quite unusual. It is not possible for housewives to have lakhs of crores of taka deposited as banks. That means bank accounts of housewives are being used for tax evasion or depositing black money. It is absolutely clear. No research is needed for that.’
Customers have to fill the KYC (Know Your Customer) form to open a bank account. It mentions the occupation of the customer in the specified column. Married women who only take care of the house, mention Housewife or Housewife instead of their occupation in KYC. Central bank officials said that the deposit accounts of women who work are included as employees. Again, the deposits of female students are deposited as students. Deposits of women entrepreneurs are also shown as traders or industrialists. Housewives are shown only to those who have no income and are dependent on their husbands or other family members for money.
Those concerned say that only a small part of the deposits deposited as banks belong to middle class and lower middle-class housewives. The amount of deposit of this category of housewives can be Tk 40-50 thousand crore. The remaining deposits of more than one and a half lakh crores belong to the country’s upper-class begums. Professionals, businessmen, entrepreneurs, high-level public and private employees and owners of illegally earned money have deposited this amount in Begmarai Bank.
Housewives are also ahead in keeping fixed deposits in banks. At the end of last March, the amount of term deposits of housewives was Tk 97,297 crores. Most of these have a duration of three to six months. The amount of deposits with maturity less than six months is Tk 51,528 crores. There are Tk 9,170 crores of term deposits from six months to one year. Besides, housewives have deposits of Tk 17,033 crores for one-two years, Tk 2,244 crores for two-three years and Tk 17,319 crores for more than three years. Until last March, housewives also had deposits of Tk 71,060 crore.
The top executives and branch managers of several banks said that many of the government and private sector employees and businessmen who submit income tax returns keep their wives, mothers and children’s money in the bank to keep their assets hidden. Again, many people use the bank accounts of female family members in cases of corruption and bribery transactions. This is the main reason why housewives are seen depositing so much money in the bank. However, a part of the remittance sent by expatriates is also being deposited as a deposit in the housewives’ bank, they said.
The size of the country’s economy exceeds $450 billion, but the revenue income is not increasing. About Tk 40 lakh income tax returns have been filed in the last financial year. NBR officials said that housewives file a very small number of income tax returns for the individual category. They say that while a large number of working women file income tax returns, housewives file returns are rare. So far, no specific statistics have been found.
A large part of the labor force of the country is abroad. About one crore Bangladeshis are working as migrant workers in different countries of the world. A large part of the expatriate population does not have a bank account in the country. They send remittance money to relatives including wife as bank. Bank officials say that most of the remittance money is spent on consumption. However, some money is deposited in the bank as a deposit. Many expatriates also keep money as deposits in the banks of their spouses and relatives apart from their own bank accounts.
Anis A Khan, former chairman of Association of Bankers Bangladesh (ABB), said that many people use the bank accounts of mothers, wives and daughters to park black money. He said, ‘Women have a tendency to use bank accounts to deposit black money or illegally earned money in banks. We have also seen many evidences in this regard emerging in various operations and investigations of law enforcement agencies. But there is no way to say that all deposits deposited as housewives are black money. Because savings trend among housewives is quite good. They save money received from husband or relatives. Many people also save from household expenses. Housewives also keep money from the sale of inherited property in the bank. These contexts also play a role in the accumulation of large deposits of housewives in the bank.

Check Also

President Joe Biden tests positive for COVID-19 while campaigning in Las Vegas, has ‘mild symptoms’

International Desk: President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 while traveling Wedne…