Banks to provide 20pc of total loans to SMEs: Governor

Published: March 09, 2019 20:56:26 | Updated: March 10, 2019 10:56:48

Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir has said all banks have been instructed to provide at least 20  per cent of their total loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The BB governor also said the central bank is ensuring all policy supports for SME entrepreneurs as there is a good future for them.

Fazle Kabir came up with the statement while speaking at an inauguration ceremony of SME Diploma Programme at Spectra Convention Centre in the capital on Saturday, reports UNB.

The programme was launched with the support of EU-funded PRISM Project-Technical Assistance to BSCIC Component, in collaboration with Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation, Daffodil International University, and Bangladesh Bank Training Academy.

Fazle Kabir said, "The diploma programme is important for creating skilled entrepreneurs.

The governor said SMEs can contribute to the country's journey towards achieving double-digit GDP growth.

"SME will create jobs and boost economic growth. Micro industry is also developing here, and so we have a bright future," he hoped.

He urged people to be entrepreneurs. "They can get loans at 2  per cent interest from Entrepreneurship Support Fund."

There is 10.22  per cent growth of small and cottage industry and 13.7  per cent in large industry in Bangladesh, the governor noted. "So, we should give priority to Small and Cottage sector to create employment," he added.

Selima Ahmad, a member of Parliament, urged BB to provide funds to youth entrepreneurs to help Bangladesh achieve a developed country status by 2041.

"People, especially women entrepreneurs, face various bureaucratic complexities in bank and other offices. These complexities, affecting the business, should be reduced," she said.

Abu Taher Khan, Director of DIU's CDC, read the keynote paper on SME Diploma Programme with Specialisation in SME & Entrepreneurship and SME Banking & Finance.

He said around 80  per cent workers are engaged in SME sector but only a small number of them is educated. The production could have been higher if they had academic education. "So, we should teach them through such diploma programme about how to increase productivity," he said.

Industries Secretary Md Abdul Halim; BSCIC Director Md Mahbubur Rahman; Manfred Fernholz, team leader of Food Security and Nutrition and Sustainable Development and delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh; Rokia Afzal Rahman, president of Bangladesh Federation of Women Entrepreneurs; and Dr Md Sabur Khan, chairman of DIU, among others, were present.

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