The Bangladesh Bank has introduced a refinancing scheme of Tk1,000 crore to provide loans at 4% interest to wheat and maize cultivators in a bid to increase the yield of the food grains and reduce the country's dependency on imports.
"We have to import wheat and maize. Currently, a problem has arisen because of the Ukraine-Russia war. Due to which the refinancing scheme has been launched so that the country can meet the demand by producing the grains," said Md Serajul Islam, executive director and spokesperson of the central bank.
Keeping the current food crisis in mind, the Bangladesh Bank approved the scheme at its board meeting on Monday, said sources at the bank.
Under the scheme, banks will give loans directly to farmers and will pay the central bank 0.50% interest against their disbursed amount.
The three-year scheme will start in December this year and banks can collect a maximum of 4% interest from farmers against the loans, the sources added.
To deal with the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the third phase of financial incentives of Tk30,000 crore has been announced for the industry and service sector.
Stimulus loans of Tk27,000 crore will be provided to industrial and service sector enterprises (excluding cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises) for the implementation of the 3rd and final phase of the stimulus package.
In addition, a Tk3,000 crore incentive fund was announced for "A", "B" and "C" type industrial establishments located in Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza), Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (Bepza) and the Bangladesh Hi-Tech Authority and 100% foreign-owned and joint venture (domestic and foreign) establishments located outside these areas.
In all, Tk30,000 crore has been allocated to this sector.
The companies which did not get loans and investment facilities in the first and second phases will get loans in the third phase. In order to get this benefit, the stimulus loan limit will be determined on the basis of current capital as on 31 December 2021.
Under this package, the companies which have not received loan facilities before will get priority. Those who have availed of the incentive facility will not get it from any other bank.
Under this package, the 3rd phase loan disbursement programme will continue till 30 June next year.