Probashi Kallyan Bank (PKB) has finally mobilised the entire amount of fund for meeting the paid-up capital requirement to convert it into a commercial bank, sources said.
Wage Earners' Welfare Board (WEWB) handed over Tk 1.0 billion on Monday. The amount has helped PKB to manage a total amount of Tk 4.0 billion, which is the required paid-up capital for a scheduled bank, they also said.
With this Tk 1.0 billion, the contribution of WEWB to the specialised bank has stood at Tk 3.80 billion. Finance Division gave only Tk 200 million to the bank to raise its paid-up capital.
"We have received the remaining amount of the paid-up capital from WEWB," said Badre Munir Firdaus, deputy managing director (DMD) of PKB.
PKB will send a letter to Bangladesh Bank today (Tuesday) to take necessary steps to transform it into a commercial bank, he mentioned.
Within a short period of time, PKB will be converted into a scheduled bank, as it has met the required fund criterion, he also hoped.
However, migrant rights campaigners criticised the mobilisation of WEWB fund to the bank, as it will hamper welfare activities of the board.
They also said without proper evaluation of commercial viability of the bank, the WEWB authority should not have provided fund to PKB.
Besides, the government should have given the fund from its own sources, they opined.
Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) founding chair Tasneem Siddiqui said PKB should have collected its paid-up capital through profit.
"So before mobilising the money, the authority concerned should have evaluated the prospects of the bank."
She also opined that migration loan can be provided through other commercial banks also.
When contacted, WEWB director general Gazi Mohammad Julhas said they have provided 95 per cent of the required paid-up capital from the board to transform PKB into a specialised bank.
"We have given the fund to the bank as a part of welfare activities of the migrant workers."
There is no reason that their welfare will be hampered following providing the money to PKB, he noted.
Replying to a query, the WEWB chief said the board will not get much profit from the bank. It will get only dividend, if the bank makes profit. "But we're giving the money, as the migrant workers will get services from the bank," he added.
PKB started its operation in April 2011 with a capital of Tk 1.0 billion aiming to provide collateral-free loans to overseas jobseekers as well as loans for rehabilitation of returnee workers through various income-generating activities.
Official data showed that only 23,731 outbound Bangladeshi workers were given loans amounting to Tk 2.29 billion by the bank between the fiscal years 2011-12 and 2016-17. The bank is now operating 45 branches across the country.
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