Two top specialised banks, which mainly deal with the agricultural sector, will distribute over Tk 18 billion under the government announced Covid-19 aid packages, sources said.
According to officials, the Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) has set a target to disburse Tk 14.06 billion under the incentive packages, while the Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (RAKUB) has planned to disburse Tk 4.13 billion.
The banks have already started distributing the loans, and recently informed the Financial Institutions Division (FID) about the progress.
However, the other specialised banks have not yet decided to be engaged in loan distribution under the incentive packages.
As the Covid-19 pandemic devastated the economy, the government announced over Tk 1.0 trillion incentive packages to help recoup economic activities and production system of the domestic industries.
Some 18 sectors, including export-oriented industries, small, medium and cottage industries, agriculture, poultry and livestock, and fish farming, were listed as beneficiaries of these incentive packages.
Until mid-July, the BKB disbursed Tk 1.67 billion and the RAKUB distributed Tk 546 million under the packages, mainly to farmers.
The FID recently held a meeting with the chief executives of the specialised banks to take update about implementation of the incentive packages.
The FID Senior Secretary Ashadul Islam in the meeting said since the BKB and the RAKUB are closely involved with the agriculture sector, their role in implementation of the incentive packages is "very much important".
He asked the banks' top executives to set branch-based targets of loan distribution under the incentive packages and keep a close watch on their activities, so that the packages can be implemented quickly and the economy can make recovery.
Mr Islam also asked the bank bosses to attain 100 per cent target of distributing working capital in the agricultural sector as well as to distribute loans among the low-income professionals like farmers and small entrepreneurs, so that they do not need to go to informal loan arrangements and pay high interest.
The chief executives were also urged to distribute loans properly to ensure that commodity supply chain remains unhindered.
The BKB and the RAKUB were especially asked to take steps for providing loans for unconventional agricultural products, according to officials.
A senior official told the FE that other specialised banks like the Karmasangsthan Bank, Probashi Kallyan Bank, Palli Sanchay Bank, and Ansar-VDP Unnayan Bank are looking for funds from the government and development partners.
Once they get the funds, they will distribute loans among the target groups that will help people recover from the pandemic impact, he added.