Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The government plans to set up a specialized bank for the welfare of expatriate Bangladeshi workers in the next fiscal year, a minister said on Sunday.

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad told the parliament that the bank would start operation sometime in the next fiscal year (2009-10) beginning on July 1 completing all necessary formalities including formulation of a legal framework for the proposed bank.

Mr. Azad answered questions on behalf of the Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandaker Musharraf Hossain.

Replying to a query from Tajul Islam, a ruling Awami League lawmaker, the minister said that the government has already begun consultation with the Bangladesh Bank, the country’s central bank, to expedite the process.

The expatriate workers will be allowed to take loans from the bank for business or industrial ventures besides using the bank for sending remittances from abroad, the minister said while replying to a supplementary question.

Currently, 48 scheduled banks are operating their business across the country.

BBN/SS/SSR/AD-08June09-3:12 am (BST)