The Bangladesh Bank (BB) is planning to launch one or two new refinancing schemes for some thrust sectors and take steps to make its existing schemes more attractive, official sources said.
"The refinancing schemes of the central bank have received good response during the last couple of years. So we are mulling to take more such schemes for increasing financial inclusion across the country," a BB high official told the FE Friday.
"The re-financing schemes have become popular, as the banks and non-banking financial intuitions (NBFIs) are sincerely disbursing fund under the schemes to various sectors in line with the BB directives."
"If we launch new schemes, those would be effective also," he added.
A total of 34,709 small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including those in the agro-processing sector, have so far been benefited from the BB's four refinancing schemes, according to the data available with the central bank.
Under the schemes, the BB has refinanced over Tk 27.59 billion to the banks and NBFIs until December 31, 2012.
The banks and NBFIs have disbursed over Tk 4.96 billion to the country's 7,189 women entrepreneurs until December last, according to the BB statistics.
"We are receiving good response from the banks and NBFIs regarding the refinancing schemes, which are contributing to the growth of the national economy. The central bank will take more such schemes, if needed," Sukamal Sinha Choudhury, general manager at the BB's SME and Special Programmes Department (SMESPD), told the FE.
In line with the government's policy, the central bank in 2004 introduced its own SME refinancing fund with Tk 1.0 billion to increase the SMEs' access to finance at lower rates of interest.