Lending rate to be brought down: PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government will take measures again to reduce the interest rate for the sake of the country's industrialisation.
"We'll sit again to discuss how to reduce the interest rate of bank loan," she said while inaugurating the weeklong first national industrial fair in the city.
The industries ministry organised the National Industrial Fair 2019 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre with a view to promoting and expandin the market of local industrialg products and attract investment.
The prime minister thought that the interest rate of bank loan is the biggest barrier to the country's industrialisation now.
Hasina said the government earlier took initiatives to reduce the bank interest rate and provided some facilities to the banks.
"Some banks brought down the interest rate to 9 percent accordingly, but all didn't do so. It (the rate) was taken to 14-16 percent again," she added.
The premier questioned why the banks did not reduce the interest rate despite enjoying the facilities.
Hasina said the owners of banks are running mills and factories and also doing businesses, but are not reducing the interest rate.
She stressed the need for checking what businesses the bank owners have and whether they are paying tax and VAT properly.
The prime minister urged the entrepreneurs to pay the bank loans and its interest in time for keeping the banks operational.
If so, it will not be very tough to reduce the interest rate, she said.
"We don't want industries to be developed haphazardly destroying arable lands. We also need to keep in mind that we've to fulfil the food demand of 16 crore people.”
“We can export food items on a large scale through producing and processing agricultural products,” Hasina said.
“Besides, we've a big domestic market. We also can catch big markets in neighbouring countries.”
Alongside promoting agro-processing industries and agricultural mechanisation, Hasina said Bangladesh badly needs industrialisation to generate jobs and enhance the export volume.
"We'll have to diversify our export basket," she said adding that there are many types of products in the country for export.
She asked the businessmen and the authorities concerned to find out new markets and set up industries accordingly after assessing demand of products in different countries.
She said the government is relentlessly implementing its plans to promote agro-based industrialisation in the country to generate jobs and boost production and export.
The prime minister urged entrepreneurs to maintain the standard of food products to increase the export volume of food items.