Bangladesh Bank has released a list of "lead banks" instructing them to help implement the incentive packages for cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSME) affected by Covid-19.
The central bank selects lead banks district-wise annually. Their responsibility is to oversee other banks in planning, disbursing and implementing loans to support small and medium enterprises in the marginalised areas. The lead banks are also obliged to communicate information about loans to the BB.
The lead banks should ensure that entrepreneurs who suffered because of the pandemic get loans from the packages without any hassle, according to a circular issued by the BB. To provide working capital, they will also identify loan recipients, disburse funds, monitor the recovery of the loans and address problems in the process.
The lead banks will be present in the district-level SME loan disbursement monitoring committees to extend all support to enterprises so they can overcome loss inflicted by the pandemic.
Moreover, lead banks will take measures to distribute loans in the less developed areas at the district and upazila levels. They will address inconsistencies, if any, across regions or sectors and will take actions to create new entrepreneurs.
In addition, lead banks will foster relationships with associated banks or other financial institutions, formulate plans and exchange opinions on those.
It is to be noted that an SME loan disbursement monitoring committee was formed in each district to overcome the economic shock of Covid-19.
The committees formed to comply with an order of the Cabinet Division is headed by deputy commissioners. And the top district official of the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) plays the role of member secretary.
Sources at the central bank said the lead banks had not attended meetings of the monitoring bodies. That is why the BB this time issued the circular with instructions to follow.