CREDITS FOR IMPORT-REPLACING CROPS
18 banks disburse no loan in 7 monthsAKM Zamir Uddin
Eighteen scheduled banks did not disburse any loan to farmers to cultivate four types of import-replacing crops — pulses, oil seeds, spices and maize — in the first seven months of the fiscal year 2013-2014 as they were reluctant to distribute the credit due to lower rate of interest.
The BB set a disbursement target of Tk 90.93 crore for the crops for the FY14 for all scheduled banks and banks disbursed Tk 39.37 crore, or 43.31 per cent of the annual target, in July, 2013-January, 2014 of this fiscal year.
The government set the interest rate at four per cent on special agricultural credit to be disbursed for cultivation of pulses, oil seeds, spices and maize.
The government gives subsidy to banks at a six per cent interest rate so that they can get 10 per cent interest in total when they disburse loan to the farmers at a four per cent rate.
According to the latest BB data, the 18 banks which did not disburse any loan for cultivation of the four types of crops are BRAC Bank, Dhaka Bank, Dutch-Bangla Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, Premier Bank, Shahjalal Islami Bank, Southeast Bank, The City Bank,
Trust Bank, United Commercial Bank, Bank Al-Falah, Habib Bank, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, State Bank of India, Woori Bank, Commercial Bank of Ceylon and National Bank of Pakistan.
A BB official told New Age on Sunday that the country usually imports huge amount of pulses, oil seeds, spices and maize to meet local demand.
The loan is being given to discourage import of the items and reduce annual import payment, he said.
He said that the central bank had frequently asked the banks to stimulate their credit programme for the four crops, but they did not make respond much to the BB’s direction.
‘The banks which failed to disburse any loan for the crops informed us that political unrest had put an adverse impact on their agriculture credit programme. The BB hope that the banks will take more initiatives to disburse loan for the four types of crops in the months to come as the political unrest has recently eased,’ he said.
In the first seven months of the FY14, the four state-owned banks – Sonali, Janata, Agrani and Rupali — and two specialised banks — Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank — disbursed Tk 32.14 crore or 43.19 per cent of their annual target of Tk 74.44 crore in loans for the crops.
The private and foreign commercial banks disbursed Tk 6.23 crore and Tk 1 crore of their annual target of Tk 13.83 crore and Tk 2.67 crore respectively in the period.
Between July and January of the FY14, banks disbursed Tk 47.18 lakh to cultivate pulses, Tk 3.41 crore to cultivate oil seeds, Tk 31.05 crore to cultivate spices and Tk 4.43 crore to cultivate maize, the BB data showed.
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