Thursday, 9 December, 2021

Returnee expats, women workers to get special loans

  • Rajib Kanti Roy
  • 25 November, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Returnee expats, women workers to get special loans

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The government will provide special loans to returnee expatriates and women workers to help them overcome the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Probashi Kallyan Bank has taken this initiative to stand by the pandemic-hit workers through two projects titled ‘Self-Employment Loan’ and ‘Women Entrepreneur Employment Loan’ for returnee expatriates and women workers respectively. The loan disbursement programmes will begin on December 1.

According to Probashi Kallyan Bank, the Ministry of Finance announced a loan assistance scheme of Tk 5 billion for the affected expatriates. From the fund, a Tk 2.50 billion project titled ‘Self-Employment Loan’ has been undertaken to help returnee migrants.

 “We will distribute this loan among the returnee workers affected by the coronavirus for two years. Each recipient will get a maximum of Tk 5 lakh and at four per cent interest rate,” an official concerned of Probashi Kallyan Bank said.

“The initiative has been taken to make the workers who have returned from abroad and have suffered losses due to pandemic self-sufficient,” the official said, adding that the workers who worked abroad illegally but returned to the country because of the pandemic will also be taken into consideration for this loan.

However, there are certain conditions to be eligible for the loan. For example, the returnee worker must have the mentality to stay in the country and do business.

“No matter whether it is a small grocery shop or poultry or fish farm, workers who returned from abroad due to coronavirus pandemic must have a small project,” he said.

The loan will be disbursed from all branches of Probashi Kallyan Bank. The workers will have to show proof of their return from abroad due to pandemic and some documents including passport, he said.

Probashi Kallyan Bank will introduce the ‘Women Entrepreneur Employment Loan’ for expatriate women workers from their own funds. 

The project will continue and women workers with working visas will be able to take loans from the fund.

Asked about the ‘Self-Employment Loan’ project, Managing Director of Probashi Kallyan Bank Md Jahidul Haque said  the government had set up a fund of Tk 5 billion to help expatriates who returned from abroad due to coronavirus pandemic.

He said they have distributed the money among the expatriates as loans and have already received the remaining Tk 2.5 billion.

“The money can be spent on self-employment of expatriate workers who returned due to pandemic. Those who will take the loan will have to repay the loan in 18 instalments,” he said.

Regarding ‘Women Entrepreneur Employment Loan’, the managing director of the bank said, “Women who are going abroad for work are also entrepreneurs. They will also get loans from the fund. And those who have returned from abroad and want to do something in the country but do not have the necessary capital will be considered for loans. Initially, loans up to a maximum of Tk 1 lakh will be given without equity participation.”

Last year, the government had set up a fund of Tk 7 billion for the rehabilitation of expatriates who returned home permanently and who got stranded in the country due to coronavirus following their arrival on vacation.

In July, the Wage Earners Welfare Board allocated Tk 2 billion to Probashi Kallyan Bank to provide loan assistance. Another Tk 5 billion was added to the fund from the finance ministry.

But Tk 2.5 billion was disbursed. The remaining Tk 2.5 billion has been allocated for returning workers to spend on self-employment.