BB sets aside Tk 200cr for flood-affected farmers

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Bangladesh Bank has allocated Tk 200 crore to help farmers recover from losses in six flood-hit districts, according to a Bangladesh Bank circular issued yesterday.

The funds come from an existing Tk 3,000 crore refinancing program aimed at providing low-cost loans to farmers to support production amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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The six districts where farmers can avail the loan are: Sylhet, Sunamganj, Moulvibazar, Habiganj, Kishoreganj and Netrokona.

Of the Tk 3,000 crore fund to be disbursed by banks, each lender should allocate at least 20 percent of an undisbursed amount of its respective targets as loans to flood-affected farmers, the circular said.

The Bangladesh Bank further said that the loans should be disbursed quickly, taking into account the real needs of the land and cattle breeders, while recovering previous disbursements should be deferred for the time being.

The central bank said recovery of agricultural loans from affected farmers in these districts should be suspended for six months from the date of this circular’s publication.

Likewise, loan recovery from farmers who received bank loans through microfinance institutions should also be suspended for six months, she added.

Bangladesh Bank further explained that the loan rescheduling facility can be provided by relaxing the down payment conditions. However, the loan can be rescheduled with no down payment given the extent of the farmer’s loss.

Apart from that, even if the installments of previously granted loans are overdue, new facilities at the farmer level need to be provided.

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