Majority of overseas jobseekers are unaware or know little about the existence of Probashi Kallyan Bank, which provides loans at low interest rates to go abroad.
Since the inception of the bank on April 20, 2011,merely 1,700 overseas workers and returnee migrantshave benefitted from taking a loan from the bank. However, during the same period,almost a million individuals went to work abroad, bank officials said.
The bank had started its operation from Bangladesh-Korea Technical Training Centre at Darussalam Road in Mirpur.
Later, from December 2011 onwards, it continued operations, from its headquarters housed at Probashi Kallayan Bhabanat 70-71 Eskaton Road.
“Many people do not know that they can avail a loan from the Probashi Kallyan Bank to go abroad,” Saifullah Sadir of Brahmanbaria, an aspirant migrant worker, told the Dhaka Tribune at the bank premises last week.
Sadir suggested nationwide publicity is needed to spread awareness about the services offered by the bank, so that people who do not possess the financial capacity to go abroad, can benefit.
“I had no idea of the existence of the bank, but one day I saw a signboard at the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET)that Probashi Kallyan Bank provides loans to go abroad,” he added.
Sadir, who is going to Oman to work as an Imam, availed a loan of Tk84,000 from the bank.
Meanwhile, Managing Director of the bank, C M Koyes Sami told the Dhaka Tribune at his office recently, “We have to increase our publicity but it is too expensive to advertise in electronic media.”
It requires time to inform the people, he said, adding that branches had been opened in areas that typically sent a large number of workers abroad, such as Comilla, Tangail, Mymensingh, Munshigonj and Faridpur.
On the other hand, a senior official at the bank said if the news of the bank was publicised widely, it would be difficult to cope with the situation.
He said branches were opened at all divisional headquarters.
The government constituted the special bank with a capital of Tk1bn.Of the amount Tk950mcame from wage earners welfare fund,and the rest came from the government’s fund to help the overseas job seekers as well as returnee migrants with loansat an interest rate of only 9%.