ABAK project makes 2700 villagers self-reliant
Correspondent, Khulna :
A total of 2,700 villagers of Rupsha upazila in Khulna became self reliant after getting financial support from 45 branches of Palli Sanchay Bank (PSB) under the Ekti Bari Ekti Khamar (EBEK) project, which has been renamed as Amar Bari Amar Khamar (ABAK) project recently.
Palli Sanchay Bank is giving financial support to poor and extreme-poor families for becoming self-reliant by providing them with collateral -free loans and bringing their micro-savings in a revolving credit scheme, said Snigdha Aktar, General Manager of PSB in Rupsha upazila.
Snigdha, also the coordinator of 'Amar Bari Amar Khamar' project of the upazila, said the PSB, which is focused on bringing in disadvantaged people, especially women entrepreneurs under financial service facilities, has been providing collateral-free loans to rural poor since its inception in 2014.
"Unlike many other banks, PSB encourages and helps underprivileged people to become involved in income-generation activities, which eventually are improving their living standard," Snigdha added.
She said PSB provides financial and banking supports only to the members of the Village Development Organisation (VDO) who want to do income-generating activities under the 'Amar Bari Amar Khamar", Project.
Currently, the bank has given loan of Taka 3.13 crore among family members of 2017 VDOs in the upazila. The members have so far deposited about Taka 1.86 crore while the government deposited festival bonus of Taka 1.25 crore in their bank accounts.
"We have collected 80 percent loan so far from the VDO members who are also PSB holders", she added.
Snigdha Aktar also said PSB is creating huge opportunities for the rural people to help them become self-reliant.
The loans are given for cow fattening, raising dairy cows, manufacturing agro-industrial tools and spare parts, producing vegetable and spices and establishing agro-based small industries, cottage industries, fisheries and nursery.
The amount of loan depends on the investment plan of the borrowers. However, a small entrepreneur can get a loan of Tk 10,000 to 40,000 with 8 percent interest; medium entrepreneur can get a loan over Tk 50,000 to Tk 3,00,000 with 5 percent interest while the PSB are giving 3.5 percent interest to their account holders against their deposit.