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Low-rate loans for bringing people to renewable energy

Staff Correspondent: Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Dr Atiur Rahman said Wednesday that entrepreneurs could become successful in the renewable energy sector by availing loans at low interest rate from the commercial banks.

“Our entrepreneurs are doing well in the agrarian sector. They can also perform well in the IT and renewable energy sectors by taking loans from the commercial banks at low interest rate as the central bank is providing loans to the banks at five per cent rate,” he said at a seminar at the auditorium of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).

DCCI president Asif Ibrahim delivered the address of welcome at the seminar titled “Alternative Sources of Finance for Small and Medium Enterprises” jointly organised by the trade body and the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund (SEAF) Ventures Management LLC.

“Irrigation through solar pumps introduced by a non-government organisation in Barguna and Trust Bank’s assistance in building bio-gas plants can be a source of inspiration for the entrepreneurs to develop Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) thus helping the solar and renewable energy sector flourish in the country,” he said.

Appreciating the growth and employment generation potential of the SMEs, the Governor of Bangladesh Bank said the CIB (Credit Information Bureau) services of the central bank would facilitate SME financing activities in a faster and more transparent manner.

Dr Atiur said the BB’s financial inclusion drive aims to engage all commercial banks and financial institutions in a comprehensive SME credit promotion programme.

“Bangladesh Bank will provide SEAF VM (ventures management) support to its objective of widening the equity financing alternative as a financing option for SMEs in Bangladesh,” he mentioned.

Asif Ibrahim said, “The SME sector is gradually becoming a rising industrial sector in our country and is contributing more and more to our export. This sector faces several common problems like lack of technical know-how, shortage of long-term financial support, lack of skilled workers and marketing links, dearth of knowledge about safety measures, hygiene, environmental pollution etc.”

“The SME sector is the largest job provider in Bangladesh. It represents only 30 per cent of the GDP due to several constraints. Organising financing fairs can be a pragmatic way to arrange finance for the SMEs,” he mentioned.

Co-founder of SEAF Bangladesh Venture LLC Fahim Ahmed presented the key-note paper.

General Manager of Bangladesh Bank’s SME departmen Sukamal Singha Roy Chowdhury and managing partner of SEAF VM Dr Zia Ahmed, among others, were present.


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