The number of ‘Tk 10 bank account’ targeting the marginal and landless farmers has now reached almost 1 crore with the addition of 6.48 lakh in July-September this year in almost eight years after such accounts were introduced.
The number of farmers’ accounts opened with the country’s scheduled banks has seen such rise following Bangladesh Bank’s instruction in 2010 to the banks to allow farmers to open accounts with an initial deposit of Tk 10. The idea was to ensure transparent distribution of farm loans and subsidies, and to bring farmers’ savings into the banking channel as part of the financial inclusion programme.
After the state-owned banks, private commercial peers followed suit.
According to the Bangladesh Bank data, farmers’ accounts with banks increased to 99.66 lakh at the end of September this year from 93.18 lakh at the end of June this year.
As opening of bank account also facilitates farmers to take bank facilities along with loans, their spree in opening accounts increased during the July-September quarter ahead of the commencement of major agricultural season, officials of Bangladesh Bank said.
Growth in farmers’ accounts was lackluster during the last four quarters starting from April-June period of the year 2017.
In June-September of the year 2017, farmers’ bank accounts increased only 1,724, in September-December period 46,202, in December-March period farmers’ number of bank accounts fell by 15,430.
Their bank accounts, however, increased by 94,997 to 93.18 lakh at the end of June of the year 2018.
The Bangladesh Bank data showed that the farmers’ total deposits in the bank accounts have increased by Tk 1.67 crore to Tk 298.23 till September 30, 2018 from Tk 296.56 crore at the end of June this year.
Besides allowing opening bank account, the central bank earlier introduced a refinance scheme with a lower rate of interest to make the Tk 10 farmer accounts vibrant, but the initiative virtually failed, a BB official told New Age.
The Bangladesh Bank issued a circular saying that the farmers having Tk 10 accounts would get loans under a BB refinance scheme worth Tk 200 crore at the interest rate of 9.5 per cent.
According to the latest Bangladesh Bank data, the banks disbursed Tk 91.98 crore to 40,477 farmers till September 30, 2018 from the refinance fund while the disbursement was Tk 81.52 crore to 37,103 farmers as of June 30, 2018.
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