Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman Sunday backed creation of a special fund in the budget to subsidize interest on the loans taken by the exporters as part of a fiscal measure to combat global meltdown.

He told a delegation of knitwear exporters that the fund would largely ease the financial bleeding suffered by leading export sectors due to the fallout of the global economic recession, exporters said,

“The central bank governor is very much positive about creating a fund to subsidize the high interest we pay on our loans,” President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association President Fazlul Hoque told BBN in Dhaka.

Mr. Hoque who led the BKMEA delegation during the meeting with Rahman said the new central bank governor has also assured his “allout support for formation of the fund in the next budget.”

“We’ve already submitted a proposal to the finance ministry to form the fund very soon,” the BKMEA chief said, adding that it would ease some of their pains and help the affected exporters ride out the recession.

He also urged the government to allow the subsidy to cover at least five per cent of the interest rate, which will bring down the overall rates on export-lending to a single digit from the existing 14 per cent.

Senior Executive Director of the BB Khandakar Muzharul Haque said the exporters should press for subsidy on interest rates as it would also help the banks, particularly the private commercial banks, lower their cost of fund.

The Bangladesh Bank can formulate the procedures through which the subsidy would be paid and who would qualify for the fund, he added.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-25May09-12:2 am (BST)