Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The non-performing loans (NPLs) in the agriculture sector marked a significantly rise in seven months of the current fiscal year (FY) to January mainly due to the ongoing political unrest, officials and bankers said.

Classified loans of farmers rose to BDT 72.19 billion during the July-January period of the FY 2014-15 from BDT 70.30 billion in the same period fiscal year, according to the central bank statistics.
They said farmers are facing problems while selling their produces as the supply chain has almost broken since January 5 following the countrywide blockade and shutdowns, enforced by the BNP-led 20-pary alliance.
 The share of NPLs in the total outstanding loans of the agriculture sector rose to 23.72 per cent in the July-January period of the FY 15 from 19.09 per cent a month ago. It was 21.92 per cent in the first seven months of the FY 14.
 Total outstanding loan in the sector stood at BDT 304.35 billion in the country’s banking system under the period under review against BDT 320.75 billion in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
 “The central bank has already asked the bankers for taking effective measures to reduce the volume of the classified loans through strengthening their recovery drives,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.
 The banks have also been asked for taking necessary steps that the fresh loans do not turn into classified one due to the lack of proper monitoring and supervision, the central banker added.
Talking to BBN, a senior official of a state-owned bank said they are now trying to expedite our recovery drive through strengthening monitoring and supervision.
He also said the seven state-owned banks have been asked for taking effective measures to settle farm loans dispute amicably instead of filling certificate cases against farmers.
The banks are Sonali Bank Limited, Janata Bank Limited, Agrani Bank Limited, Rupali Bank Limited, BASIC Bank Limited, Bangladesh Krishi Bank and RAKUB.
 During the period under review, the total amount of NPLs with seven state-owned banks at BDT 71.32 billion, which accounted for more than 98 per cent of the total classified loans in the agriculture sector, the BB data showed.

BBN/SSR/AD-20Feb15-6:29 pm (BST)