Bb Fixes Interest Rate On Agri Loans At 4 Pc
Banks asked to extend import usance period
To encourage uninterrupted food production amid coronavirus pandemic Bangladesh Bank (BB) has fixed client level interest rates at four per cent on bank loans for the farmers, according to a circular issued on Monday.
The rest five percent of the nine per cent interest rates on bank loans, will be given by the government as subsidy according to the stimulus package announced by the government recently to cushion coronavirus fallout.
Currently all the scheduled commercial banks charge four to maximum nine per cent. The new circular on agriculture loans would be valid from current year's April 1 to June 30 of the next year 2021, the circular said.
The BB on Sunday asked all the scheduled banks to allow 360 days usance period against the import of agricultural implements and chemical fertilisers.
A BB circular issued on Sunday mentioned that the importers of the items would get the facility till September 30 this year.
The central bank has been providing policy support for the import of raw materials since the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country.
Usually, the scheduled banks are allowed to provide 180-day usance period for the import of raw materials.
An official of the central bank said that the new facility would help the importers to import adequate amounts of fertilisers.
In turn, the availability of fertilisers would help to keep the supply chain and prices stable during the peak season, the BB official said.
The government has so far announced funds worth Tk 5,000 crore for the farmers to ride out the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and to keep the country's agriculture-based economy afloat, he said. Besides, another Tk 3,000 crore was also released for low income groups along with the farmers to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus.
BB also instructed all banks to facilitate import of essential commodities, food items and electronic goods to keep the supply chain running amid the general holidays due to coronavirus pandemic. The central bank also asked the commercial banks to provide necessary banking services to the importers during this crisis period.
On April 22, the ministry of commerce instructed all the authorities to step up to help continue production, transport and supply of electronics goods, essential commodities and food items including rice, pulses, oil, onion, salt, sugar, ginger, garlic, water, baby food; and all types of medical supplies such as masks and hand sanitisers.