The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has requested the government to release a sum of Tk 3.0 billion for smooth operation of the Equity and Entrepreneurship Fund (EEF).
"We have requested the finance ministry to allocate Tk 3.0 billion for the agro-based projects and information and communication technology (ICT) under the EEF," a BB official said.
When contacted, an official of the financial institutions division said, "We have received a letter from the central bank. We are now working on the issue."
The government introduced the EEF in the fiscal year (FY) 2000-01 to help promote entrepreneurship and create employment opportunities in the areas of agro-based industry (excluding conventional sub-sectors such as rice mills, flour mills, fishing trawlers, cold storage etc), and information technology (IT).
The nearly two-decade-old fund was earlier managed by Bangladesh Bank. In June 2009, the central bank handed over its management to state-owned Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB). ICB Capital Management Ltd acts as a project appraisal arm for EEF. A sum of Tk 1.0 billion was allocated to begin with.
The central bank was the implementing agency for the project until May 2009.
Since its inception, the government allocated Tk 20 billion in favour of the Fund until March last year. The money was apportioned into Tk 15.13 billion for agriculture and Tk 5.12 billion for information and communication technology (ICT), according to officials.
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