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FBCCI demands SME loans at 9 pc interest

Wednesday 18 November, 2015 12:00:00 am

FBCCI demands SME loans at 9 pc interest
Dhaka, Nov 18 (UNB) – The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) here on Wednesday urged the government to provide bank loans at 9 percent interest for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector.


FBCCI came up with the urge at a views exchange programme on ‘Problems and Possibilities of SME Sector’, organised by the SME Standing Committee of FBCCI at its office in the capital’s Motijheel area.


Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu was present at the programme as the chief guest while FBCCI president Abdul Matlub Ahmad, Bangladesh Bank deputy governor SK Sur Chowdhury, SME Foundation chairman KM Habib Ullah were also present.


Mentioning that the key problem to the SME sector is bank loan, FBCCI president Abdul Matlub said the development of the sector is relatively low as banks offer loans at 17-18 percent interest to the sector.


SME loans should be given at 9 percent interest to maintain positive economic growth in the country, he said adding that interest rate on deposits should be lessened if required.


Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu said the government wants to encourage rural economy by expanding small, cottage and medium enterprises to reduce pressure on urban areas.


He said big companies are establishing industries in different Bisic Industrial Areas though some of the entrepreneurs can not expand their industries for scarcity of lands.


Those who could not establish industries at the allotted plots in the Bisic area will have their plots canceled, the minister warned.


Speaking at the programme, Bisic chairman Ahmed Hossain Khan said new initiatives have been taken to establish 24 more industrial areas across the country to decrease land insufficiency.


Stating that some of the industrial areas have been developed unplanned, he said steps have been taken to solve these type of problems.


In response to the business community’s allegation that ‘SME loans are hard to get’, Bangladesh Bank deputy governor SK Sur Chowdhury said Tk 38,858 crore was distributed as SME loans in 2010 whereas over Taka one lakh crore have so far been distributed in 2015.


Criticising the banks, he said the banks are not interested in providing SME loans; thereafter Bangladesh Bank is very active to distribute SME loans.


SK Sur Chowdhury also said Bangladesh bank is trying to reduce the SME interest rate.


Industries secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and FBCCI’s SME standing Committee chairman Nurul Gani Shovon also spoke at the programme.