The central bank gave primary approval to the scheme at its board meeting on Sunday
Bus owners will get Tk100 crore long-term soft loans under a special refinancing scheme of the Bangladesh Bank as the transport owners have suffered from the bar on the movement of vehicles amid the pandemic.
The central bank gave primary approval to the scheme at its board meeting on Sunday. It will issue a complete guideline for the low-cost fund soon, said a senior Bangladesh Bank official seeking anonymity.
Financing banks will take the fund from the central bank at 2% interest and distribute the loans at 6% interest among the bus owners, he added.
Bus operators in the country have suffered as they had been off the road owing to the restriction on movement imposed by the government to control the spread of Covid-19.
According to the Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association (BRTOA), around 80,000 buses, including air-conditioned (AC), non-AC, and minibuses ply different routes. The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) puts the number at 75,348.
Also on Sunday, the Bangladesh Bank approved in principle a $200 million currency swap proposal with Sri Lanka, a country struggling to maintain a moderate foreign exchange reserve.
However, the currency swap agreement will be finalized after being vetted by the government, a senior central bank official said after the meeting.
Under the currency swap proposal, the central bank would provide up to $200 million in foreign currency to meet Sri Lanka’s import, the official said.
Against the fund, Sri Lanka would keep the same amount of its local currency at the Bangladesh Bank along with a government guarantee.