Lower bank interest rate, pay off loan on time: PM

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Dhaka, Mar 31: Reiterating her call to bank owners to lower the interest rate to single digit, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday asked the businessmen to pay off the loan and interest on time.“We have given some facilities to bank owners as per their desire to lower the interest rate of bank loan to single digit. But, only some banks, not all, have slashed the interest rate to nine percent,” she said while inaugurating the first “National Industrial Fair, 2019, at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) here in the capital, BSS reports.

The government earlier kept 70 percent public money in state-run banks and 30 percent in private banks, but now they are getting equal portions of the money, she said.

Although the bank owners aren’t bringing down the interest rate, they are doing businesses with setting up industries, she said.

The government may look into whether the bank owners are giving VAT, taxes and purchasing raw materials in a proper manner, she continued.

Describing the bank loan as the main barrier to industrialisation, she said, “Once the interest rate of bank loan was in single digit. But, it has now reached 14, 15 or 16 percent.”

The premier blamed IMF (International Monetary Fund) for taking the bank loan interest rate to such a high level, as the government was compelled to withdraw cap system (limit on how high an interest rate can rise on variable rate debt) following its prescription.

Sheikh Hasina called upon the businessmen to repay the loan or pay its interest in due time.

The Industries Ministry organized the weeklong ‘National Industrial Fair-2019’ at BICC in the city. The event will end on April 6.

Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, MP, presided over the function while Industries Secretary Md. Abdul Halim gave the welcome address.

PM’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, State Minister for Industries Kamal Ahmed Majumder and President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin spoke on the occasion.

The fair is open for all from 10am to 8pm.

As many as 300 organisations are taking part in the fair to display country-made jute goods, food and agro products, leather items, electrical and electronics products, plastics and handicrafts.