The central bank has extended the deadline by three months to execute the stimulus package for small entrepreneurs in the farm sector, officials said.
The banks are now allowed to implement the package for the priority sector by March 31 next year, according to a notification, issued by the Bangladesh Bank (BB), on Tuesday. Earlier, the deadline was December 31, 2020.
The move came against the backdrop of slow disbursements as 43 participatory banks disbursed only Tk 27.94 billion or 56 per cent of the Tk 50 billion package until December 15 last.
Loans amounting to Tk 28.93 billion were approved for nearly 121,000 Covid-affected entrepreneurs in the sector across the country during the period, according to the central bank’s latest statistics.
The BB extended the deadline for execution of the re-financing package for the agriculture sector on September 20 by three months to December 31 from September 30 on the same ground.
“We’ve extended the deadline further to help the banks implement of the package properly,” a BB senior official told the FE while replying to a query.
Earlier on April 13, the central bank issued a guideline to implement the refinance scheme for providing working capital in the agriculture sector.
The tenure for the loan is 18 months, including a grace period of six months, at both banks’ and clients’ ends. Banks will borrow from the refinancing scheme at 1.0 per cent interest rate and lend the money at 4.0 per cent.
Also, the central bank is likely to extend the deadline for execution of the stimulus package for the cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSMEs) by more than three months until April 12, 2021 instead of December 31, 2020.
Talking to the FE, another BB official said the central bank is now working on it.
The central bank has taken the latest moves against the backdrop of slow disbursements as the banks and non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) released only Tk 96 billion or 48 per cent of the Tk 200 billion stimulus package for the CMSMEs until December 26.
Loans amounting to Tk 115.20 billion were approved for 73,600 Covid-affected CMSMEs across the country during the period, the BB’s data showed.