Consumers, who did not file cases to get their money back, set to receive first
The Commerce Ministry will ask Bangladesh Bank to begin the refunding process for e-commerce consumers whose payments have been stuck in payment gateways.
However, the ministry will only ask to process refunds for consumers who have not filed a case, as the process already has been delayed due to the Law Ministry not responding to its intervention sought by the Commerce Ministry.
According to AHM Shafiquzzaman, additional commerce secretary, intervention was required from the Law Ministry for consumers having legal disputes filed with the court.
But since such vetting is not required for consumers who have not filed any case, the Commerce Ministry will send a letter to the central bank this week, asking to first start paying those who did not file court cases against fraudulent e-commerce companies, according to the ministry official.
The Commerce Ministry and Bangladesh Bank have decided to pay back the Tk512 crore stuck with payment gateways following an inter-ministerial meeting last month.
A 15-member high-powered committee was formed by the cabinet division in September to refund the stuck money of consumers.
Several e-commerce shops are now unable to access the advances paid by buyers even after delivering products as the money is stuck with the payment gateways, according to the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB).
A manual system for confirming deliveries by payment gateways has been introduced to protect online customers as the e-commerce industry in Bangladesh has been mired in allegations of fraud, irregularities and embezzlement in recent months.