Bangladesh Bank yesterday launched a low-cost loan refinancing scheme for book publishers of original and creative content to revive the publication sector.
Publishers of creative books will get loans at 10 percent interest from those banks and financial institutions that borrow from the Tk 600 crore fund, the central bank's small enterprise refinance scheme.
"It is not an SME loan. It is finance that originates from social and cultural responsibility," said BB Governor Atiur Rahman, after handing over cheques of Tk 84 lakh to six publishers at a ceremony at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel.
The loans were extended through two banks and one financial institution, namely Prime Bank, AB Bank and IDLC Finance Ltd.
The low-cost loan will help the publication industry tackle rising production cost in the shrinking book market beset by rampant piracy. “Our publication industry is under threat for various reasons," he said expecting that the initiative would play a pivotal role in saving the creative books publication industry.
He said most publication entrepreneurs are small and the refinance scheme would encourage publication of creative books.
BB will fully refinance banks for giving loans to micro and small publishers and sellers of creative books.
Members of Bangladesh Gayan O Srijonsil Prokashak Samity, an association of creative book publishers, and members of other recognised associations will get the loans. Women entrepreneurs will be given priority in financing.
"We are very much pleased and extend our gratitude for the initiative," said Osman Gani, president of Gayan O Srijonsil Prokashak Samity.