Tuesday, 3 October, 2023

Women entrepreneurs to get loans at 5pc interest

  • Staff correspondent
  • 5 August, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Bangladesh Bank has instructed banks to provide loans to women entrepreneurs in the CMSME sector at 5 percent interest rate.

The loans are intended to help the women entrepreneurs recover from the pandemic shocks.

Banks and other financial institutions (FIs) will be able to take money from Bangladesh Bank at 0.5 percent interest rate, which can be disbursed as loans to women entrepreneurs at 5 percent interest rate.

The central bank introduced to the facility under the “Small Enterprise Refinancing Scheme.”

SME and Special Programmes Department of BB on Wednesday issued the circular and sent it to the top executives of all banks and FIs with immediate effect. Bangladesh Bank has set a target of giving at least 15 percent of SME loans to women entrepreneurs by 2024.

For this, the interest rate of this scheme has been reduced from time to time. 

According to the BB notification, the bank has set a target of distributing 15 percent of its loan to SME sector women entrepreneurs.  Similarly, the women entrepreneurs are given refinancing facility on priority basis under the small enterprise refinancing scheme.

Subsequently, due to the coronavirus pandemic, interest rate was rescheduled at 3 percent for banks or FIs while maximum of 7 percent at the consumer level to facilitate the disbursement of loan to women entrepreneurs.

On Wednesday, the BB again reduced the interest rate. As per the new guidelines, the interest rate for refinancing under the scheme has been fixed at 0.5 percent for banks and FIs and maximum 5 percent at the customer level.

Although the central bank has reduced the interest rate several times, the loan disbursement is yet to gather momentum among the women entrepreneurs.

Bankers say that women entrepreneurs are not getting low interest loan due to lack of necessary documents.

However, the women entrepreneurs blamed that the bankers are not interested in lending to them.

Due to this complication, the bank loan is not reaching the desired level in terms of loan disbursement to women entrepreneurs.