SME Foundation to disburse Tk 300cr

The SME Foundation will disburse Tk 300 crore from a second stimulus package for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to help accelerate the country's economic recovery from Covid-19.

Loans will be provided from the fund at 4 per cent interest to entrepreneurs in the MSME sector, according to a statement from the organisation.

Of the total fund, Tk 100 crore will be disbursed within the current fiscal year while the remaining Tk 200 crore will be divided up in the next.

The SME Foundation recently signed agreements with 11 banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFI) to provide the loans.

The lenders are: BRAC Bank, Premier Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, Bank Asia, Southeast Bank, Dhaka Bank, Dutch Bangla Bank, Prime Bank, BASIC Bank, IDLC Finance, and LankaBangla Finance.

Of the total loan, 25 to 30 per cent will be allocated for female entrepreneurs.

The foundation has also signed agreements with some state-run lenders, such as Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank, to provide loans from the fund in remote areas.

On March 21 this year, the SME Foundation approved the policy and guidelines for this loan programme.

One notable point of the policy is that emphasis will be placed on small and medium enterprises in rural and marginalised areas that struggled to survive the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Besides, MSME entrepreneurs from all sectors who did not receive loans under the first stimulus package will be given priority. The physically challenged, third gender and new entrepreneurs, including those in remote areas, will also be eligible for this facility.

The entrepreneurs can avail loans between Tk 1lakh to Tk 75 lakh, which will be repayable in 24 monthly instalments.

The banks concerned will approve disbursals following the submission of a borrower's application form along with other required documents.

Loans will also be disbursed for jointly owned enterprises. However, a maximum of five entrepreneurs can receive the loan under one group depending on the bank-customer relationship.

Following consultation with partner banks and financial institutions, the SME Foundation will determine the focal officials in one or more branches that are convenient for entrepreneurs.

These focal officials will work to coordinate disbursements with the SME Foundation, the bank's head offices and branches, and entrepreneurs.

All micro, small and medium entrepreneurs have been urged to contact their banks, associations, trade bodies concerned or the SME Foundations to avail this opportunity without delay.    


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