Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The central bank of Bangladesh has strengthened its monitoring of agricultural loan disbursement to facilitate the farmers and also ensure that the credit target is achieved by the end of this fiscal.
“We’ve strengthened our monitoring to achieve the agro-credit disbursement target by the end of this fiscal,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, told BBN in the capital, Dhaka.
The central bank earlier set an agriculture credit target of nearly BDT 94 billion for the fiscal 2008-09 (FY09), which is 13 per cent more than that of the last fiscal year, considering the need for enhancing food production through increasing investment in the sector.
A meeting with the state-owned eight banks and financial institutions is scheduled to be held at the central bank on September 24 to review the overall agro-credit situation, the official added.
“We will ask the state-owned banks and financial institutions for taking necessary measures from now on to achieve their agro-credit disbursement target by the end of this fiscal,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the central bank has already taken a move making it mandatory for all local and foreign commercial banks to provide farm loans from the current fiscal year to ensure food security of the country.
“The central bank will take necessary measures immediately in this connection,” Senior Deputy Governor of the BB Nazrul Huda told reporters on September 16 after a meeting of the high-powered committee on agriculture credit.
The central bank announcement came when at least five commercial banks have not yet fixed their agro-credit disbursement target for the current fiscal, officials said.
Eight state-owned banks and financial institutions along with other local and foreign commercial banks disbursed BDT 9.72 billion during July-August period of the FY09, registering a 53.61 per cent growth over the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
Agro-credit recovery, however, reached BDT 9.68 billion, marking a 105.92 per cent growth during the period over the same period of the previous fiscal. A total of BDT 4.70 billion was recovered in the last fiscal.
Eight state-owned banks and financial institutions are: Sonali Bank Limited, Janata Bank Limited, Agrani Bank Limited, Rupali Bank Limited, Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB), Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (RAKUB), Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB) and Bangladesh Samobaya Bank Limited (BSBL).
The loans have been given to agro-based eight sub-sectors for funding cultivation, irrigation equipment, livestock, agricultural products marketing, fisheries and poverty alleviation.
BBN/SI/SI/AD-22September08-5:33 PM (BST)