The banks seek refinance fund
State-owned Commercial Banks (SoCBs) have sought refinance fund from the government for lending to rawhide traders before the Eid-ul Azha.
The four SoCBs have decided to lend Tk586 crore on procuring rawhide of sacrificial animals.
Top officials at the Sonali, Agrani, Rupali and Janata Bank at a meeting with the finance ministry past week sought 50% of their total disbursed loans as a refinance capital.
The interest rate of the fund was proposed at 7%. Borrowers will pay 4% and the rest 3% will be borne by the government, as per the proposal.
Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Agrani Bank managing director Mohammad Shams-Ul Islam has said they had sought a refinance fund from the government for leather sector.
“I hope it will be implemented soon because the government along with banks must come forward to sustain the leather industry,” he added.
Meanwhile, four SoCBs have allocated Tk586 crore in loans for leather traders for purchasing rawhide during and after the Eid-ul Azha.
Although every year banks allocate a large amount of money for leather sector, rawhide traders cannot use the money as they fail to repay their previous loans.
Of the total Tk586 crore, Sonali Bank will provide Tk71 crore, Agrani Bank Tk180 crore, Rupali Bank Tk155 crore and Janata Bank will disburse Tk180 crore on purchasing rawhide of sacrificial animals.
Traders who repaid their loans on time will only get loans this year, bankers have said.
However, on July 09, the central bank instructed banks to finance the leather sector on a priority basis to enable traders purchase rawhides during and after Eid-ul Azha.
The BB also asked the banks to be flexible in taking collateral from leather industry entrepreneurs against their loans.
On July 05, the central bank relaxed reschedule policy for rawhide traders.
“Banks can reschedule loans of rawhide traders as of June 30 this year against a minimum 2% down payment for a maximum period of eight years with one year grace period,” said a Bangladesh Bank circular.