The central bank today almost doubled the volume of funding of three refinance schemes for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in order to protect the marginal entrepreneurs from the ongoing economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
The interest rate on the schemes was also decreased by 2 percent both for banks and borrowers, according to a central bank circular sent out to all lenders.
Under the latest programme, the refinance scheme for small enterprises now stands at Tk 1,500 crore, up from Tk 850 crore.
The other two schemes, which provide fund to set up agro-based product processing industries in rural areas and for new entrepreneurs in cottage, micro and small enterprises, have been increased to Tk 1,400 crore and Tk 100 crore from Tk 700 crore and Tk 50 crore.
Lenders will get the fund from the central bank at 3 percent interest rate, but they will be allowed to disburse the loans at seven percent interest rate to borrowers.
Under the refinance scheme, banks at first disburse loans to clients, after which the central bank reimburses the fund to them.