The government has, so far, disbursed around Taka 51.5 crore among the farmers affected badly by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic situation so that they can recoup their losses in Rajshahi district.
The latest official data said some 21 public and private sectors commercial banks disbursed the stimulus package loans among the farmers at the rate of 5% interest on easy terms from the refinancing fund of the Bangladesh Bank.
Small and medium-scale farmers in rural areas received loans from the fund, and they are using the money to yield agricultural products, flowers, fruits, fish and poultry.
The central bank has allocated around Tk73.41 crore for distribution among the affected farmers in the district under the special stimulus package.
Meanwhile, the state-owned Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (Rakub) has disbursed Tk327 crore agriculture loans among 7,133 farmers through different branches in all 16 districts under Rajshahi division from the Prime Minister's stimulus package fund.
The Bangladesh Bank has allocated Tk416 crore fund from the stimulus package.
Rakub Managing Director Sajedur Rahman Khan said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced a new stimulus package of Tk5,000 crore in May last for farmers to boost agricultural production in the backdrop of the Covid-19.
He said the money from the fund has been disbursed among small and medium-scale farmers, including those in the poultry and dairy sector, in rural areas, at 5% interest. "Small and medium-scale farmers in rural areas received loans from the fund, and they are using the money to yield agricultural products, flowers, fruits, fish and poultry," he added.
Other than, the bank has disbursed Tk36 crore loans among 1,062 entrepreneurs to revive cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSMEs) that have been affected financially due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Bangladesh Bank has allocated Tk36 crore to Rakub for the sector.
Besides, the existing disbursement of loans at 4% interest for spices is continuing and Tk211 crore has, so far, been disbursed among 25,047 farmers.
Sajedur Rahman also said loan disbursement activities to other sectors of the stimulus package announced by the premier are progressing efficiently. "We are very much hopeful about attaining the cherished targets in these sectors within the stipulated time," he added.
He also said the stimulus packages will ultimately contribute a lot towards recouping the losses being triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Besides, Rakub has also disbursed around Tk920.70 crore agriculture loans in the country's northwest (NW) region during the first four months of the current 2020-21 fiscal year to facilitate increasing crop production and boosting rural economy.
Apart from this, the bank recovered loans of around Tk703 crore including a classified loan of Tk80 crore besides deposit collection of Tk111 crore during the same period.
The bank headquartered in Rajshahi has set a target of disbursing loans of Tk2,850 crore, recovering Tk2,480.63 crore and deposit collection of Tk1,200 crore during the current fiscal year.
As the largest development partner in agriculture as well as agro-based industry sector of northwest Bangladesh, currently, the bank has adopted an effective work plan which is being implemented at the grassroots level to attain all the targets within the stipulated time.