BRAC Bank has completed its disbursement process of the Tk 20,000-crore stimulus fund for the cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSMEs). The bank is one of the first three banks in the country to have completed the process, a press release said.
As of December 3, banks have disbursed about BDT 8,600 crore among 52,000 CMSMEs according to the central bank’s latest data, media reports said.
BRAC Bank, a pioneer for SME lending in Bangladesh, is among the first three banks that have completed the disbursement process. The two others are Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank.
As of December 24, 2020, BRAC Bank has disbursed BDT 1,185 crore to 12,669 CMSMEs across the country. Starting from June 2020, the bank took only six months to complete its massive disbursement target of BDT 1,100 crore.
Considering the performance, Bangladesh Bank has recently allotted an additional BDT 200 crore to BRAC Bank for disbursement.
BRAC Bank’s Head of SME, Syed Abdul Momen, said: “We are glad to have closed the disbursement before the deadline. Payment of small loans typically takes longer as it takes more time to scrutinize the documents of the CMSMEs. However, with the guidance of the Central Bank, slowly but steadily, we have completed the disbursement and kept our promise.”
He added, “Even during the outbreak of COVID-19 in Bangladesh, we continued our support to the CMSMEs. We have disbursed more than 61,000 loans to the CMSMEs that accounts for BDT 10,181 crore as of November 30, 2020”.
BRAC Bank’s Managing Director and CEO, Selim RF Hussain, said: “BRAC Bank has always been a pro-SME bank. I thank our government for coming up with the much-needed stimulus packages for the CMSMEs and proactively demonstrating ways to damage-control of the economic losses.”
To avert effects on the CMSMEs and encourage the banks to disburse stimulus packages, the government announced loans at 4 per cent for the CMSMEs; as banks charge the CMSMEs 9 per cent interest, the government announced that it would bear 5 per cent of the interest.
“Our central bank deserves a big thanks for their continuous support and encouragement to look for the CMSMEs and also for sustaining us with policy relaxation and deadline extensions,” he added.
The deadline for disbursing the CMSMEs’ bailout funds is December 31, 2020.