Bangladesh Bank Wednesday asked commercial banks to provide fresh loans on an emergency basis to help rehabilitate the poultry farms devastated by the so-called bird flu, reports UNB.
“This is to help overcome the affect of Avian influenza on the rural economy,” Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Salehuddin Ahmed told reporters, expressing his hope that the bankers would realise the importance of enhanced lending.
“Apart from the economic recovery, it”ll also help solve the nutritional problem as poultry birds and eggs meet much of our nutrition requirements,” he added.
He said the central bank has advised the commercial banks to strengthen lending to the sector at low interest rates, which could be similar or even lower than the rate for agriculture loan.
The Bangladesh Bank issued a circular Wednesday, asking the banks to strengthen loans to poultry farmers who have been affected directly or indirectly by the bird flu. “Bird flu has caused a massive damage to the poultry sector and it”s now urgent to undertake rehabilitation activities,” said the circular.
The central bank advised the banks to relax the condition of down payment for rescheduling the default loans in the sector on the basis of bank-client relationship and disburse fresh loan as early as possible.
It has advised to suspend recovering previous loans. It is one year for the principal amount and six months for interest amount. The central bank has also advised the commercial banks to monitor the loan disbursement activities so that the poultry farmers are not harassed to get the loans.
The Monitoring Cell in the commercial banks earlier formed to oversee the agriculture credit activities would also monitor the loan activities in the poultry sector. The commercial banks will have to report to the Bangladesh Bank the poultry loan activities by the first week of a month.
Source: The Daily Commercial Times