Published:  12:20 AM, 19 September 2023

Loan interest rate will not rise abnormally: BB Governor

Loan interest rate will not rise abnormally: BB Governor
Leaders of apex trade body Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) had a meeting with the top officials of Bangladesh Bank (BB) including the central bank's Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder on Monday.

Abdur Rouf Talukder stated that loan interest rate will not increase all on a sudden in an abnormal way.

Many traders have to open Letters of credit (LCs) by buying dollars at a higher price than the fixed rate, said Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) President Mahbubul Alam yesterday. "We drew the governor's attention to the dollar market, who gave assurance that everyone will get dollars at the fixed rate," FBCCI President Mahbubul Alam told reporters following a meeting with Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder on Monday (18 September).

Following the meeting Executive Director and Spokesperson of Bangladesh Bank Md Mesbaul Haque told reporters, "Now there is a trade balance, the price should not be high. The dollar rate is set by Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers' Association (BAFEDA) and Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB). We work with the rates they offer," he added.

The central bank's governor has been requested not to increase the interest rate of bank loans, the FBCCI president said adding, "In view of this, the governor said the loan interest is now fixed according to the smart rate, there is no chance of the interest rate being increased at an abnormal rate. According to the current system, there may be a slight rise only."

Debt repayment was discussed. So far two industrial sectors have been given loan repayment facility.

"We asked them if this facility can be extended to some other sectors so that traders can do business easily," added the FBCCI president.

Regarding the opening of LCs, the FBCCI president said, "We have talked about the small and medium businessmen and the governor has assured them that they can open LCs and the banks have been instructed accordingly."

Women entrepreneurs will soon be able to take loans from banks by showing women as guarantors, the central bank governor assured the FBCCI president, said a press release.

At the meeting, the FBCCI president said to get a loan, a woman entrepreneur has to show her father, brother or husband as a guarantor. Mentioning that banks do not want to accept a woman as a guarantor, he requested the central bank's intervention in this matter.

Mentioning that the Bangladesh Bank has taken various initiatives to facilitate access to loans for women entrepreneurs, the governor said banks are being asked to accept women as guarantors.

Mahbubul Alam also urged to raise the bank loan to a maximum of Tk50 lakh for small and medium women entrepreneurs.

The governor said measures are being taken to ensure access to loans on easy terms for small and medium women entrepreneurs of the country. He also said banks have recently been given the necessary instructions to facilitate women's access to loans.

"We have already taken various steps to increase women's participation in economic activities. The central bank is trying to make it easier for women entrepreneurs to get loans step by step so that women can come forward in business, commerce and industry. Many women entrepreneurs are already enjoying the benefits," said Abdur Rouf Talukder.

Taking into account the long-term negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ukraine-Russia war and the global economic instability, the FBCCI president requested the central bank to provide loan rescheduling facility for all sectors and not increase the interest rate to maintain the competitiveness of Bangladeshi products in the foreign market.

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