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Higher interest rate naturally creates loan defaulters: PM

MNA National Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said the government has taken steps to bring down the interest rate of bank loan to a single digit in all banks, noting that higher interest rate naturally creates loan defaulters.

“We want to bring it (bank loan interest rate) down to single digit. In the meantime, we’ve taken appropriate measures so that investment becomes easier,” she said while handing over the prestigious National Export Trophy in the city.

Hasina said investing with higher interest rate loan naturally creates loan defaulters. “Because it’s not possible to build an industry just after taking money (from banks),” she said.

Talking about the government’s directive to bring the bank loan interest rate to single digit, Hasina said some banks are already obeying the directive while some are yet to follow suit.

“We’re in discussion about the matter and are providing facilities they (banks) need. We want to bring it to single digit,” she said.

Putting emphasis on industrialisation, the Prime Minister said, “We have taken a plan for industrialization and are moving forward with it. We’ve to save our agricultural lands, we’re establishing 100 economic zones across the country for local and foreign investment.”

She also mentioned that for attracting investment to these economic zones, the government is offering special incentives, including ensuring all sorts of services in the zones.

About the gas supply, the Prime Minister said as the country has limited reserve of gas in its wells, the government is importing liquid natural gas (LNG) to meet the growing gas demand.

“We’ve given a special attention to ensuring that there’ll be no gas crisis in the country in the future,” she said adding that the government has taken a plan to import LNG through pipeline.

Hasina urged the business people to take special initiatives considering the issues of waste management and preservation of nature from the very beginning of setting up industries.

“You’ve to start proper waste management from the very beginning, you’ve to keep a water reservoir and harvest rain water,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina also asked them to plant trees to protect the environment.

The Prime Minister called on the exporters to add new products to country’s export basket. “You’ve to know the demands of various countries and produce your products in line with that…you’ve to grab new markets.”

She also asked the business people to look into the demands of non-traditional products across the globe alongside the export of traditional ones.

The Prime Minister handed over awards to 66 companies for their extraordinary performance in the country’s export earnings. The trophies were given under 28 categories at the ceremony jointly organized by Commerce Ministry and Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) at Bangabandhu International Conference Center.

The gold winning companies are Zaber and Zobaer Fabrics Ltd, Refat Garments Ltd, Square Fashions Ltd, Badsha Textile, Envoy Textile Ltd, Noman Teri Towel Ltd, Sea Mark BD Ltd, Akij Jute Mills Ltd, SAF Industries Ltd, Picard Bangladesh Ltd, Bay Footwear Ltd, Mansur General Trading Company, Pran Agro Ltd, Rajdhani Enterprise, Karupanna Rangpur Ltd, Bengal Plastic Ltd, Shinepukur Ceramics Ltd, Uniglory Cycle Industries Ltd, Energypac Engineering Ltd, Marine Safety System Ltd, Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Service Engine Ltd, Universal Jeans Ltd, Fardin Accessories Limited, Moon Trims Ltd, Orchid Trading Corporation, Mir Telecom Ltd, and Monno Ceramic Industries Ltd.

The silver trophy winners are AKM Knitwear Ltd, Four H Fashions Ltd, Kamal Yarns Ltd, Four H Dyeing & Printing Ltd, Bright seafood ltd, Janata Jute Mills Ltd, BBJ Leather Goods Limited, FB Footwear Ltd, Alin Foods Trade, Alin Food Products Ltd, BD Creation, Durable Plastics Ltd, Rangpur Metal Industries Limited, BRB Cable Industries Ltd, BSRM Steels Ltd, Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Pacific Jeans Ltd, Shasha Denims Ltd, Uniglory Paper and Packaging Ltd, Bang-chung Trade & Tourism and Nihao Food Company Limited.

The bronze trophy winning companies are That’s It Sportswear Ltd, DIRD Composite Textiles Ltd, Maksons Spinning Mills Limited, Paramount Textile Ltd, BD Seafood Limited, Karim Jute Mills Ltd, Footbed Footwear Ltd, Heritage Enterprise, Habiganj Agro Limited, Classical Handmade Products, Allplast Bangladesh Ltd, Meghna Innova Rubber Company Ltd, Jeans 2000 Ltd, RM Interlinings Ltd, Zaber and Zobaer Accessorise Ltd and Bengal Poly & Paper Sack Ltd.

Chaired by Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, the function was addressed, among others, by Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce Ministry Tofail Ahmed, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry President Sheikh Fazle Fahim, Senior Secretary of the Commerce Ministry Md Mofizul Islam and EPB Vice-Chairman Fatima Yasmin.

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