RAJSHAHI: Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (RAKUB) has, so far, disbursed Taka 47.78 crore loan from the Prime Minister’s stimulus package fund for agriculture in the country’s northwest region, reports BSS.
“We have disbursed the loan among 5,421 farmers through our different branches in all 16 districts of Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions,” said AKM Sajedur Rahman Khan, Managing Director of RAKUB, adding that the government has allocated fund worth Taka 319 crore from the stimulus package.He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced a new stimulus package of Tk 5,000 crore in May last for farmers to boost agricultural production in the backdrop of the Covid-19 fallout.
Sajedur Khan said the money from the fund is being disbursed among small and medium-scale farmers, including those in the poultry and dairy sector, in rural areas, at five percent interest.
“Small and medium-scale farmers in rural areas are getting loans from the fund, and they are using the money to produce agricultural products, flowers, fruits, fish and poultry,” he added.
Besides, the existing disbursement of loans at four percent interest for spices is continuing. He also said the stimulus package will ultimately contribute a lot towards recouping the losses being triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to the stimulus package fund, the specialized commercial bank has set a target of disbursing loans worth Taka 2,850 crore, recovering Taka 2,300 crore and deposit collection of Taka 1,200 crore during the current 2020-2021 fiscal year.
Target has been set to disburse Tk 950cr for crop, Tk 750cr for SME, Tk 700cr for running agriculture, Tk 50cr for fisheries, Tk 100cr for livestock, Tk 40cr for poverty reduction, Tk 35cr for agro-based industries and Tk 10 crore for farm machineries.As the largest development partner in agriculture as well as agro-based industry sector of the northwest Bangladesh, currently, the bank has adopted the effective work plan which is being implemented at the grassroots level to attain all the targets within the stipulated time.
“We have adopted a special credit programme for encouraging the people for setting up solar power, biogas and waste management plants for generating eco-friendly and alternative power to face the power supply deficit,” said Sajedur Rahman, adding credit is being extended to the sector on a priority basis.
He said the bank enhanced its lending activities in multipurpose potential fields for boosting agricultural production, intensifying food security and flourishing poultry and dairy sectors despite the pandemic situation.
Online banking programme is being implemented in the bank aimed at delivering modern banking services.
Sajedur Khan said online banking has already been launched in 119 branches including all of those located in the district towns. All the 383 branches are expected to be brought under the modern services until January next as per the time bound action plan.
Apart from, mobile banking, agent banking, booth banking and ATM services will be launched within the next 2020-2021 fiscal, he added.