Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Dr. Atiur Rahman has advised the commercial banks and non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) for taking necessary measures to extend loan facilities for socially disadvantaged people.
“We’re now implementing the financial inclusion programmes across the country aiming to bring more people, particularly low-income group, in the banking sector to ensure sustainable economic development,” BB Governor Dr. Rahman said while addressing as chief guest at a loan-signing ceremony held at the central bank headquarters in Dhaka on Tuesday
Dr. Rahman also advised the banks and NBFIs to come forward with such loan facilities for socially disadvantaged people in Bangladesh.
The central bank chief disbursed such credit to the disadvantaged people after signing the loan agreement between Midland Bank Limited (MDB), a private commercial bank (PCB), and Palli Karma Unnayan Sangstha (PKUS), a micro-finance institution (MFI).
Ahsan-uz-Zaman, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Midland Bank, and Yunus Khan, executive director of the PKUS, inked the deal on the behalf of their respective organisations.
Under the deal, MDB is to finance BDT 10 million to 236 disadvantaged people, including third gender, generally known as hizra, disabled, socially disadvantaged women and ethnic (Rakhine) group for a five-year term. The loan is payable in quarterly installment.
The BB governor also said the central bank had taken initiatives to provide such loan to the disadvantaged people of society, including third gender, generally known as hizra, for mainstreaming them in economic activities for improving their lifestyle.
Earlier on June 10 this year, the central bank of Bangladesh asked the banks and NBFIs to extend their credit facilities to entrepreneurs who are classed as hizras or hermaphrodites under the small and medium enterprise category of customers.
Third gender and third sex is the concept that individuals are categorised, by their will or by social consensus, as neither man nor woman.
In 2013, Bangladesh government recognised the hizras as the third gender to ensure their rights, enabling them to identify their gender in documents such as passports.
In 2009, Bangladesh allowed hizras to vote for the first time.
There are at least 10,000 hizras in Bangladesh, according to official estimate.
The BB had also asked the banks and NBFIs to lend entrepreneurs belonging to the physically challenged group, marginalised women entrepreneurs and all indigenous groups, including the Rakhine community.
Among others, Nirmal Chandra Bhakta, executive director of the BB, Asad Khan, chairman of Bangladesh Leasing and Finance Companies Association (BLFCA), and Nasrin Ara Surat Amin, additional secretary and managing director of the National Foundation for Development of the Disabled Persons under the Ministry of Social Welfare, spoke on the occasion.