Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Sixty more non-government organizations (NGOs) have been selected to disburse the housing fund, generally known as ‘grihayan tahabil’, to build 3525 shelters for the poor across the country.

Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman disbursed cheques worth Tk 16.80 million to 26 NGOs out of 60 Sunday as the first installment to build 482 dwellings.

“We expect that other selected NGOs would get the funds within a month after completion of all procedures,” a BB official told BBN in Dhaka, adding that the shelters would be built in slum areas in district towns.

The central bank chief asked the selected NGOs to play effective roles in disbursing the funds at 5.0 per cent interest to the poor people across the country.

“We believe that the poor people would create a new culture through repaying their housing loans in time,” the BB governor said while speaking at a cheque disbursement program in the central bank.

The government earlier disbursed BDT 1.186 billion through 404 NGOs, the BB governor said, adding that the NGOs have built 47,473 houses at 400 upazilas under 64 district of the country.

Adviser of the fund Ziaul Hassan Siddiqui asked the NGOs to recover the loans in time at own responsibilities.

“We’ve increased the amount of each loan to BDT 35,000 from BDT 20,000 earlier considering the existing market prices of housing materials,” Mr. Siddiqui, who is also deputy governor of the BB, added.

On May 5, 1998, the housing fund was established through the central bank of Bangladesh as a way to provide loans to NGOs who endeavor to build shelters for the poor.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-11January10-1:32 am (BST)