State banks to give Tk 385cr loans to tanners
State-owned commercial banks will give Tk 385 crore loans to tanners ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha, up from Tk 365 crore last year.
The state banks account for around 90 percent of the loans given for the purpose.
“The customers who repaid loans in time last year will get new credit,” said Janata Bank Managing Director SM Aminur Rahman.
Janata has started giving loans to tanners in line with the bank's plan to disburse Tk 170 crore this year -- the same as last year -- among 22 borrowers, Rahman said.
Sonali Bank will disburse Tk 65 crore in loans to three customers.
“The three customers will get the loans in a couple of days,” said Sonali Bank Managing Director Pradip Kumar Datta. “We are giving loans to those who repaid loans in time.”
Agrani Bank will give Tk 102 crore in tannery loans this year, up from Tk 80 crore last year. Rupali Bank will disburse Tk 48 crore, down from Tk 50 last year.
Around Tk 400 crore has remained stuck in the tannery sector as default loans. Most of the loans were given in the first half of the 1990s but could not be realised yet, according to data from the state banks.
A high official of Sonali Bank said the tannery owners in the past used to start lobbying on the eve of the Eid-ul-Azha and would create pressure on the banks for loans.
The official said the media also used to carry out a propaganda that the banks were not giving loans to the tannery owners to buy rawhide and so leather was being smuggled out.
About five years back, the central bank formulated guidelines for giving loans to the leather sector. The banks now strictly follow the policy in giving loans and face much less pressure.
Bangladesh Bank has set up an exit policy to the effect that if the old default borrowers pay their principal amount, they will be given scope to go out of the default borrower tag.