Deposit in Tk-10 farmers’ bank accounts has marked a sharp fall in the first quarter of the current year. At the end of December last, the amount of total deposit in the Tk-10 farmers’ accounts was Tk. 303 crore that dropped to Tk. 276 crore by the end of March this year, marking a decrease of Tk. 27 crore or about nine percent fall.
In a bid to ensure inclusion and transparency in disbursing of various government financial assistance, Bangladesh Bank on 17 January, 2010, instructed public banks to help farmers open the Tk-10 account (This is an account that can be opened with a deposit of Tk. 10, especially structured and introduced for the farmers). Private commercial banks eventually introduced the service, as well.
According to latest Bangladesh Bank data, eight state-run banks -- Sonali Bank, Janata Bank, Agrani Bank, Rupali Bank, BASIC Bank, Bangladesh Development Bank, Bangladesh Krishi Bank, and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank -- have opened 99, 89, 906 Tk-10 accounts.
Of these, 21, 30, 756 accounts have been used to receive government subsidies. Already, loans have been disbursed through 47, 973 accounts. These loans have been distributed from the central bank’s Tk200-crore Refinance Fund for banks and non-bank financial institutions.
Besides the farmers, unprivileged people can now open a bank account by depositing Tk. 10, Tk. 50 and Tk. 100. Private banks also have provisions for these sort of accounts, charging nominal fees. The number of such accounts presently stands at 1 crore 92 lakh 17 thousand 47. Fifty-two (52%) of these are farmers’ accounts. Beneficiaries under various social safety net programmes accounts for 27 percent. The rest 21 percent include other accounts.
Among the other accountholders, there are freedom fighters; ultra-poor women; impoverished, rootless and working children; beggars and deferent other unprivileged people in society. Bangladesh Bank has issued directives to the banks to make provisions so that these people can open accounts with them at nominal charges.
In the same way, the central bank has also made provision for opening low-cost bank accounts for school-going children; like the other accounts, these account-holders do not require to keep any minimum balance; neither any additional fee is charged.