SME Foundation Managing Director Dr Md Mofizur Rahman has called on commercial banks and financial institutions to ease existing regulations for incentive loans to aid small and women entrepreneurs in the country.
He made the call while addressing a meeting with women entrepreneurs and bankers in Chattogram, said a press release on Thursday.
Dr Rahman said that the foundation has distributed Tk100 crore in the last fiscal year, of which male enterprisers received 66.75 per cent and women 33.25 per cent.
“SME Foundation wants to distribute more loans among the women entrepreneurs and signed agreements to distribute Tk200 crore in FY 2021-22 with 19 banks and financial institutions,” he added.
Abida Mostafa, president of Chittagong Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CWCCI) chaired the meeting, while Farzana Khan, general manager of SME Foundation, Arif Hossain Khan, general manager of Bangladesh Bank, among others, spoke at the event.
“Some 83.24 per cent of loan receivers were from outside of the capital in the last FY. SME Foundation has already signed agreements with 19 banks and financial institutions to reach out to rural and marginal entrepreneurs in the country in the current financial year as well.”
He also said, SME Foundation disbursed Tk100 crore to small, micro, and medium entrepreneurs in FY 2020-21 under the second term stimulus package of government to accelerate the economic recovery of the country in the face of coronavirus (Covid-19) and to improve the living standards of the marginalized people in rural areas.
“Priority will be given to those who are yet to avail loans under the government incentive package, along with entrepreneurs of priority SME sub-sectors and clusters, women entrepreneurs, new entrepreneurs, tribal areas, physically challenged and transgender entrepreneurs.”
Under the incentive package, entrepreneurs will get loans up to Tk 1 lakh to Tk 50 lakh and the interest rate has been fixed at 4 per cent.
An attempt will be made to disburse unsecured loan up to Tk 25 lakh. The loan can be paid back within a maximum of 24 monthly installments on the basis of banker-customer relationship, the statement said.
Generally, loans will be disbursed in favor of single and joint ventures.
However, group-based loans can be disbursed in favor of a maximum of 5 entrepreneurs on the basis of banker-customer relationship and consensus in order to bring marginal small, especially women-entrepreneurs under the loan.