Bus owners to get $ 100 in low-interest loans



Long-distance buses have taken to roads defying coronavirus restrictions as holidaymakers start returning from northern districts to their workstations in various areas, including Dhaka on Sunday, May 16, 2021 Dhaka Tribune

The central bank gave its main approval to the program at its board meeting on Sunday

Bus owners will get Tk 100 crore long-term soft loans under a special refinancing program from the Bangladesh Bank as transport owners suffered from the restriction on vehicle traffic amid the the pandemic.

The central bank gave its main approval to the program at its board meeting on Sunday. It will soon issue a comprehensive guideline for the low-cost fund, a senior Bangladesh Bank official said on condition of anonymity.

Read also – Transport owners, workers call for the resumption of long-haul services

The corporate banks will take the central bank fund at 2% interest and distribute the loans at 6% interest among the bus owners, he added.

The country’s bus operators have suffered as they were taken off the road due to the traffic restriction imposed by the government to control the spread of Covid-19.

According to the Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association (BRTOA), around 80,000 buses, including air-conditioned (AC), non-AC, and minibuses take different routes. The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) puts the number at 75,348.

Also on Sunday, the Bangladesh Bank approved in principle a $ 200 million currency swap proposal with Sri Lanka, a country struggling to maintain a moderate foreign exchange reserve.

However, the currency swap deal will be finalized after being approved by the government, a senior central bank official said after the meeting.

Read also – Inter-district travel opens amid widespread Covid-19 restrictions

Under the currency swap proposal, the central bank would provide up to $ 200 million in foreign currency to meet Sri Lanka’s imports, the official said.

Against the fund, Sri Lanka would keep the same amount of its local currency at the Bangladesh Bank with a government guarantee.


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