Give outbound workers collateral-free loans | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 16, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 16, 2008

Give outbound workers collateral-free loans

Mirza Aziz urges banks


Finance Adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam inaugurates a branch of Janata Bank in Dhaka yesterday. The bank branch, first of its kind in the country, is meant exclusively for non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs). Photo: PID

Finance Adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday called upon the banks to provide collateral-free loans to the Bangladeshis willing to go abroad for works, considering the expatriates' contribution to the country's forex reserve.
"They should be given loans after scrutinising their appointment letters and probable salaries," the finance adviser said inaugurating a branch of Janata Bank in Dhaka exclusively for non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs), first of its kind in the country.
Mirza Aziz also urged the banks to initiate moves so the money sent by the NRBs are invested in productive sectors instead of being spent on consumption.
The adviser said if a portion of the remittances is kept in the banks as savings, the amount can be invested in the non-farm activities such as SME (small and medium enterprise) financing in the rural areas, and it will contribute towards poverty alleviation.
The 'NRB Branch' opened by the bank at Motijheel is fully automated with online banking facilities and linked up with three booths situated at three prime locations of the city -- Dhanmondi, Banani and Uttara.
Finance Secretary Mohammad Tareque said there is an apprehension that the country's export and remittance may be affected by the global financial meltdown. Against this backdrop, the Janata Bank initiative will bring a good result, he added.
Janata Bank Chairman Suhel Ahmed Chowdhury said: "We have talked to a number of NRBs to assess their needs and requirements so we can provide them with better services. The bank intends to continue taking inputs from them to introduce more products for them in future."
Chowdhury said, "We have planned to float IPO (initial public offering) hopefully within 2009. We hope to give cash dividend and bonus shares to the government within the next six months."
Board of Investment Executive Chairman Kamaluddin Ahmed and Managing Director of the bank SM Aminur Rahman also spoke at the function.

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