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Bailout for agriculture, tourism sectors

BB approves two more refinancing schemes

Board rejects two banks' plea for penalty waiver

FE REPORT | August 24, 2021 00:00:00

Two refinancing schemes worth Tk 35 billion are being launched to help out Covid-hit agriculture and tourism sectors under government stimulus packages, officials said.

Two proposals to this effect were approved at a board-of-directors meeting of Bangladesh Bank Monday with BB Governor Fazle Kabir in the chair.

Talking to the FE, a BB senior official said the board approved the refinancing schemes to help offset the adverse impact of the ongoing Covod-19 pandemic on the sectors.

"We'll issue two notifications separately in this connection shortly," the central banker noted.

A refinancing fund amounting to Tk 30 billion will be formed for the agriculture sector in second phase of the refinancing facility for the priority sector.

The BB had earlier formed a special refinancing scheme worth Tk 50 billion for the agricultural sector on the same grounds.

Another refinancing scheme worth Tk 5.0 billion will be constituted to help the tourism industry to clear salary and allowances of their employees.

"Our board has decided to form the refinance scheme to facilitate the commercial banks in implementation of the government-announced stimulus package of Tk 10 billion for the tourism industry," a BB senior official told the FE while replying to a query.

He also said the rate of interest on the loan is 8.0 per cent, but the borrowers will get loan paying only 4.0 percent interest while the government will provide the remaining 4.0 per cent to the banks concerned as interest subsidy.

The central bank had announced the guideline for utilising the government-announced new stimulus package worth Tk 10 billion for the tourism industry.

It issued a circular on July 15 last detailing the rules on how the hotels, motels, theme parks and other tourism organisations could avail of the low-cost funds.

The board rejected two banks' plea for waiver of penalty imposed by the BB earlier on charges of concealing CIB (Credit Information Bureau (CIB) information on loans.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has so far announced 28 stimulus packages worth Tk 1.35 trillion to offset the impacts of the pandemic on various sectors.

The packages, which account for 4.9 per cent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), are now being executed under the supervision of the central bank and the finance ministry for mitigating the adverse impacts of the pandemic coronavirus on the economy and facilitating faster economic recovery of Bangladesh

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