BB to initiate its own refinance fund to the tune of Tk 2.0b for jute sector

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-04-06 17:00:00 – Dhaka

Bangladeshi business people in the jute sector including exporters and jute mills will now get bank loans with a lower rate of interest under the new Bangladesh Bank (BB) scheme. The central bank is going to initiate its own refinance fund to the tune of Tk 2.0 billion for the jute sector after have refused by the government to provide a payment guarantee against the scheme.

A complete proposal will be presented before the board of directors of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) seeking approval of the scheme with the revolving fund having the tenure of five years.

According to the BB, state-owned jute mills, private jute mills and raw jute traders will get 40 per cent, 40 per cent and 20 per cent loans respectively from the proposed fund.

If any amount under the 40 percent quota for state-owned jute mills remains unused, that will be disbursed among the private jute mills.

The fund for the refinance scheme would come from the BB's own coffer and the commercial banks would get loans from the refinance scheme at the interest rate of five per cent for disbursement among the businesspeople, who would get the loans at the interest rate of 9 per cent.

A meeting was held in the conference room of the BB last month in this connection. BB Deputy Governor S K Sur Chowdhury presided over the meeting. It was the second such meeting held in this connection.

In the last meeting the finance division declined to provide any financing or guarantee for the proposed Tk 2.0 billion refinance fund for the Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA), according to sources.

Presently the jute mills under the BJMA are incurring heavy losses. The mills' performance has been unsatisfactory. Apart from that, the BJMA has failed to meet the conditions in respect to earlier financing, a high official of the finance ministry said at the meeting.

There are 238 jute manufacturing units in the country. Of these, 90 private spinning mills produce jute yarn while 18 state-owned mills under the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) and 130 private jute mills under the BJMA manufacture hessian, sacks and bags.

Earlier, the BB had provided a fund to the tune of Tk 5.0 billion to the BJMA for boosting the sector for a period of 20 years against a government guarantee, the BB data showed.

The BJMA requested the central bank in December last for the amount of Tk 2.0 billion for them under the scheme so that they could purchase required raw materials.

The BB has been bringing many more sectors under its refinance scheme in the wake of growing demand for boosting activities in those areas in the country.

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