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BB to focus on credit flow to priority sectors

Experts suggest proper use of loans


Siddique Islam | Published: February 01, 2019 10:32:03 | Updated: February 06, 2019 21:07:55


The Bangladesh Bank seal is pictured on the gate outside the central bank headquarters in Motijheel, the bustling commercial hub in capital Dhaka. FE Photo

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) will continue its intensive supervision in ensuring credit flow to the priority sectors to help create more and better jobs along with protecting the environment.

"….BB will continue resorting to intensive and intrusive supervision in ensuring that credit flows reach the priority sectors (agriculture, manufacturing, SMEs) that can create more and better jobs while protecting the environment," the central bank said in its annual report for the last fiscal year (FY), 2017-18.

Besides, given Bangladesh's young labour force, creating more and better jobs will need support from different engines of growth, it added.

Senior economists and bankers, however, urged the authorities concerned for taking necessary measures to ensure proper use of loans, given to the priority sectors, along with their disbursement by the commercial banks.

Talking to the FE, former Director General of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Mustafa K Mujeri advised the central bank for strengthening monitoring to ensure use of credits as per commitment of the borrowers.

"Monitoring should be expedited to know more about outcome of the credits," added Mr. Mujeri, also the former chief economist of BB.

Echoing Dr. Mujeri's suggestions, Syed Mahbubur Rahman, chairman of the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB), said economic impact of such loans will be improved, if their proper use is ensured.

Bangladesh has displayed its overall macro-economic stability and resilience despite various domestic and external shocks, according to the report.

"However, the ambitious target of building Bangladesh as a knowledge-based upper middle-income country by 2030 or earlier and graduation to a developed one by 2041 will require unwavering and continued reforms, given the country's integration with the global economy in an increasingly complex world."

The central bank has pursued various initiatives to support the country's growth aspirations and market development agenda that can help better financing of long-term investments.

As part of the moves, BB continues to focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), agriculture and green initiatives, including long-term financing facility and green transformation fund (GTF).

"These schemes will make finance and growth more sustainable," the report noted.

It also said Bangladesh economy experienced an impressive growth in FY 18, aided by strong domestic and external demands, as reflected in the buoyant public and private investment and consumption, driven by higher exports, remittances and private sector credit growth.

"Supporting productive private sector investment is critical to sustaining the recent high level of growth. At the same time, a significant increase in public investment is also necessary to maintain competitiveness and generate further productivity."

In light with the global growth prospects and potential risks in the context of global and domestic economic perspectives, GDP (gross domestic product) growth rate is set at 7.8 per cent and inflation at 5.6 per cent in the proposed budget framework for FY 19.

BB projects GDP growth to range from 7.5-7.7 per cent in FY 19, assuming a continuation of calm domestic political environment and no further escalation of global trade-related conflicts.

The central bank has been pursuing a 'cautious' monetary policy stance to maintain macro-economic stability and to keep inflation at or the below the projected level, according to the report.

BB will update its forecasts on a regular basis and accordingly modify its monetary programmes to accommodate the significant changes, it added.

siddique.islam@gmail.com

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