NBL chairman orders countrywide expansion of Poverty Alleviation’ scheme
Peoples Time Desk
Chairman of National Bank Limited Zainul Haque Sikder has ordered countrywide expansion of the ‘Poverty Alleviation’ scheme of the bank that he launched six years ago.
The scheme was launched in several districts, including Rajshahi and Mymensingh, in 2015 to offer collateral-free loans to poor people at 5 percent interest rate with a view to making them self-reliant.
The chairman has also ordered lowering the interest rate to 3.5 percent from 5 percent.
People concerned say such a humane scheme of the bank during the present coronavirus pandemic will remain as a unique example in the country.
According to National Bank, interest rate on other lending was 14-15 percent at the time when the bank introduced the poverty alleviation scheme. Later, Bangladesh Bank capped the lending rate at 9 percent at the instruction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
National Bank Director Rick Haque Sikder told the bank’s 439th board of directors’ meeting that the repayment rate of the loans disbursed under the scheme is 98 percent.
“Among the private banks, National Bank boasts of the second highest number of rural branches after Islami Bank. That’s why this sort of scheme is very good for us and beneficial for the country, especially when poor people are suffering the most for the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.