Agricultural stimulus funds must now be disbursed before March 31

The deadline has been extended for a smooth implementation of the agricultural sector incentive fund, the central bank notice said on Tuesday.

The central bank has further extended the deadline for disbursement of the Tk 5,000 crore stimulus package for the agricultural sector affected by the pandemic to March 31 next year.

The previous deadline was to expire on December 31.

The BB has extended the deadline for the smooth implementation of the agricultural sector incentive fund, the notice published on Tuesday said.

No less than 43 banks signed participation agreements with BB on the disbursement of agricultural credit from the low-cost stimulus fund in April. The BB also set separate targets for these banks to disburse low cost loans.

In a virtual meeting with the banks on September 2, senior BB officials expressed their dissatisfaction with the slow disbursement of loans to the agriculture and craft sector, micro, small and medium enterprises of stimulus fund.

To deal with the economic losses caused by the epidemic of the deadly virus, the BB launched on April 14 a stimulus fund of Tk 5,000 crore for the agricultural sector.

The term of the loans was set at 18 months, including a grace period of six months.

Banks will borrow the funds at an interest rate of 1 percent and lend at 4 percent to farmers in accordance with BB guidelines.

The stimulus fund has failed to reach marginal farmers due to collateral issues and bureaucratic complexities in banks, experts say.


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