The National bank of Tajikistan says it submitted a report on the distressed banks to the Majlisi Namoyandagon (Tajikistan’s lower chamber of parliament) in time.   

In a statement released on November 13, Tajik central bank, in particular, says allegations that it has not fulfilled an instruction of Majlisi Namoyandagon Speaker Shukurjon Zuhurov and did not submit him the report on the current situation in four distressed banks in time do not correspond to the facts. 

Muhammadato Sultonov, a spokesman for the Majlisi Namoyandagon, told Asia-Plus today on the phone that the Majlisi Namoyandagon received response from the National Bank on November 3 and “it is currently under consideration.”

Recall, an official source at the Majlisi Namoyandagon told Asia Plus on November 8 that the NBT head Jamshed Nourmahmadzoda is in no hurry to fulfill instruction of Majlisi Namoyandagon Speaker Shukurjon Zuhurov to submit him full information about the current situation in four distressed banks, namely, Tojik Sodirot Bonk (TSB), Agroinvestbonk, Tajprombank and Fononbonk.

According to him, Jamshed Nourmahmadzoda should have submitted the information to Zuhurov within two weeks (November 1), “however, he has not submitted it so far.”  

He further added that the Majlisi Namoyandagon on November 8 officially reminded of the parliament speaker’s instruction.

As it had been reported earlier, the member of the Majlisi Namoyandagon, Saidjaffar Ismonov, who is also leader of the Democratic Party of Tajikistan (DPT), on October 18 demanded dismissal of the head of the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) for failure to perform his duties properly.  

Speaking at the session, MP Saidjaffar Simonov noted that interest rates offered by Tajik banks to entrepreneurs and population “are acceptable only for drug dealers of Colombia and Mexico.” 

“Earlier in this year, the government passed a decree to issue bonds worth 3.25 billion somoni to recapitalize four distressed banks, including Tojik Sodirot Bonk (TSB), Agroinvestbonk, Tajprombank and Fononbonk.  However, customers at these banks have not yet received their money, and the National Bank cannot do anything,” Ismonov said.

He demanded dismissal of the NBT head Jamshed Nourmahmadzoda.  

Speaking on this issue, parliament speaker Shukurjon Zuhurov noted that “Tajik banks have completely lost confidence of customers and investors.”  

According to him, the problem of the mentioned banks “remains the main headache for the government, the parliament, and the president.”  

Zuhurov ordered Tajik central bank head to submit full information about the current situation to him in two weeks.  

For his part, speaking at the session, the NBT head Nourmahmadzoda noted that the country’s banks cannot take back loans they had provided earlier.  According to him, loan debts amount to 4.6 billion somoni.  

The mentioned banks have been experiencing liquidity issues since 2015.  Parliament in December 2016 approved a government decree to issue bonds to recapitalize the mentioned banks.  TSB and Agroinvestbonk were topped up by 2.25 billion somoni (US$284 million) and 1.7 billion somoni (US$215 million) respectively. 

Meanwhile, Tajprombank and Fononbonk never saw any of the 450 million somoni (US$56 million) and the 80 million somoni (US$10 million) earmarked for them respectively as the NBT on February 24 announced it was pulling their licenses.  

Customers at Tajprombank and Fononbonk have been paid out 17,500 somoni (around $2,000) out of the state’s Individuals Deposits Insurance Fund.  Anybody with more than that amount of money in the banks is still waiting to see how much they will get in the end.

In April, it emerged that the government decided unilaterally to allocate the $66 million it had set aside as bailout funds for Tajprombank and Fononbonk to construction work on the Roghun hydroelectric power plant (HPP).