Palli Sanchay Bank to start soon
Though the draft of the proposed “Palli Sanchay Bank [Rural Savings Bank]” is still waiting in the parliament for passage, the authorities have already started preparation to set up around 100 upazila branches for the bank.
The “Ekti Bari Ekti Khamar [One House One Farm]” project authorities had allocated money for constructing own buildings for the 100 branches of the bank. Rest of the branch offices would be built phase by phase, Project Director Dr Prosanta Kumar Roy told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.
The government has decided to set up the Palli Sanchay Bank for the poor to reduce poverty, realising the “Ekti Bari Ekti Khamar” project for the rural development under the LGRD Ministry.
The draft of the Rural Savings Bank Act 2013 was prepared by the Rural Development and the Cooperative Division to establish the bank, which was approved by the cabinet meeting on November 10, 2013.
Dr Roy said the draft of the act was waiting in the parliament to get its nod for setting up the bank. It was expected that it would get approval of the parliament soon to eliminate poverty of the country.
It would be a unique initiative in the country, even in Saarc countries to set up such a bank funded by the savings of the poor beneficiary groups of the project and would be established with 100% online banking system as the existing system of online transaction of the project would be handed over to the bank, the project director said.
He also said the proposed bank for the poor people would be established so that the rural people could utilise their savings for a better life, and change their fate.
“Its banking activities will be started after the bill is passed in the parliament. But, we have already started the process of building own offices for the bank as its banking activities is already going on. We will just hand over the assets and resources to the bank,” he added.
“We are hopeful that the branches of the bank will be set up in all the upazilas by this year and gradually it will be opened at union level.”
He said the way the “One House One Farm” project had been showing a new path in poverty alleviation, the same way the “Palli Sanchay Bank” would help rural people build their fortune themselves and shield them from the high interest charged by microfinance institutions. The bank members would get loan at less than 10% interest. The initiative of the government would reduce poverty of the country to below 20% by 2015 from the present rate of 29.75%, he opined.
The project director also said the number of beneficiaries from the project was 21.6 lakh under around 36,000 societies across the country. The savings of the beneficiaries had already risen to Tk570 crore, he added. The government had given Tk355 crore as bonus for the members according to its terms and conditions.
Total investment of the project is around Tk925 crore while over Tk579 crore was distributed among the members. Earlier, the project director briefed some reporters about the progress and success of the project.
He said the project was expecting that it would be possible to create a fund of around Tk9 lakh for each society under the project. It would be created with the contribution of the members and donation of the government.