Farm sector defaulted loan rises by 21pcAKM Zamir Uddin
The defaulted loans in the agriculture sector increased by 21.06 per cent in the last one year as the banks did not take adequate initiatives to recover their loans disbursed to the farmers, said Bangladesh Bank officials.
Besides, the officials said, a large number of farmers failed to repay their loans in the period after counting losses by cultivating farm products as they could not retrieve production cost by selling harvests mainly of rice and jute.
According to the latest BB data, the defaulted loans in the agriculture sector rose to Tk 6,395.57 crore as of August 31, 2013 from Tk 5,282.55 crore as of August 31, 2012.
The farm sector defaulted loans accounted for 20.21 per cent of the total loans disbursed in the sector amounting to Tk 31,181.26 crore as of August 31 this year. The classified loans in the sector were 19.67 per cent of the total loans disbursed (Tk 26,852.55 crore) as of August 31 last year.
Six state-run banks — Sonali, Janata, Agrani, Rupali, Bangladesh Krishi and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan banks — held the majority of the defaulted farm loans.
The farm sector defaulted loans in the six state-run banks increased by 20.99 per cent to Tk 6,335.35 crore as of August 31, 2013 from Tk 5,282.55 crore as of August, 2012.
The farm sector defaulted loans in the six banks stood at 25.13 per cent of the total loans amounting to Tk 25,207.20 crore disbursed by the banks to the sector as of August 31, 2013.
The agriculture defaulted loans in the private commercial banks and the foreign commercial banks increased by 29.28 per cent to Tk 60.22 crore as of August 31, 2013 from Tk 46.58 crore as of August 31, 2102.
The sector’s defaulted loans in the PCBs and the FCBs stood at 1.01 per cent of their total loans amounting to Tk 5,974.06 crore disbursed to the sector as of August 31, 2013.
A BB official told New Age on Thursday that the state-run banks held larger amount of the agriculture defaulted loans than those of the PCBs and the FCBs as the state-run banks usually disburse the majority portion of the agriculture loans in the banking sector.
He said that the agriculture defaulted loans in the six banks increased in the last one year as they failed to take adequate initiatives to recover the loans.
Another BB official said that the farmers had been deprived of fair prices of their products in the last few sessions which also pushed up the defaulted loans in the sector.
A large number of farmers failed to retrieve production cost of their harvests of rice and jute in the last one year as the middlemen manipulated the market prices of the products, he said.
Under the circumstances, the farmers failed to repay the bank loans, he said.
The BB data showed that the farm loan recovery also posted a negative growth in the first two months of this fiscal year.
The recovered farm loans of the banks decreased by 46.40 per cent to Tk 1,801.05 crore in July-August of the FY 2013-14 from Tk 3,360.54 crore in the same period of the FY13.
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