Policy makers and experts have emphasised ensuring human dignity for all through expediting financial inclusion initiatives, saying that development without human dignity as the quintessential purpose is not a worthy goal.
The observations were made at an international conference, held at Krishibid Institution, Bangladesh (KIB) in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The two-day conference was jointly organised by Financial Inclusion Network, Bangladesh (FIN-B) and Institute for Inclusive Finance and Development (InM).
The Financial Express (FE) is the one of media partners of the international event.
Around 90 per cent loans and advances have already been concentrated in Dhaka and Chattogram districts that are not desirable, they added.
They also recommended for taking effective measures to pursue inclusive growth for reducing regional disparity to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030.
They also highlighted some weaknesses such as 'the missing middle' segment of micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), higher interest rates on lending are critical for broadening financial inclusion in future.
Mashiur Rahman, adviser on economic affairs to the Prime Minister, said unless profit calculation system has been changed by the conventional banks they will not be able to provide adequate resources to small borrowers.
"Informal sector is doing better than formal sector in term of employment generations," the adviser said while addressing as chief guest at the conference.
He also said the informal sector has contributed such employment opportunities despite they did not access to formal financial system.
"As we redefine development within the framework of inclusive SDGs, we should also assert development is about ensuring human dignity of the downtrodden," Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmed, chairman of InM and Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) said in his path setting speech at the conference.
Without empowerment, the poor are unlikely to get out of poverty sustainable and achieve a humanly dignity living standard, according to Dr. Ahmed.
"….financial and non-financial interventions have created strong positive impact on human dignity and the programme has raised human dignity and increased the participants' self-esteem and human freedom," the senior economist noted.
Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled, former chairman of Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) emphasised on equal disbursement of loan and advances in all the districts saying that Bangladesh is not only Dhaka and Chattogram districts.
Financial inclusion is not enough for ensuring human dignity in the society, he said, adding that economic inclusion with health and education is needed for that purpose.
Ezazul Islam, general manager (GM) of Bangladesh Bank (BB) said the central bank has strengthened financial inclusion programmes since 2010 to achieve sustainable economic growth.
Financial inclusion has been broadened and scaled up manifold over the last ten years, Dr. Islam added.
Sustainable framework for the growth of social entrepreneurship (SE) is still missing in Bangladesh, Foyasal Khan said while presenting his paper at the conference.
He emphasised on developing policy roadmaps for encouraging SEs which are not only economically viable but also socially sustainable.
The central bank is now working to introduce e-KYC (Know Your Customer) for safe and secure financial transactions, Anwarul Islam, GM of the BB, said while speaking as panelist at the conference.
Among others, Dr. Mustafa K Mujeri, executive director of InM, AKM Musha, country manager of Concern Worldwide Bangladesh and Jashim Uddin, deputy managing director of PKSF also spoken on the occasion.
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