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PM announces Tk 5,000cr package for agriculture over COVID-19

12 April 2020, 2:54:15

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today announced a Taka 5,000 crore stimulus package for agriculture sector to boost crop production to overcome the possible COVID-19 impact.

“We’re going to undertake a new scheme of Taka 5,000 crore with maximum five percent interest rate to help small and medium level farmers to raise food production,” she told a video conferencing with public representatives and officials in Khulna and Barishal divisions.

The premier said Bangladesh Bank would formulate the refinancing scheme of Taka 5,000 crore to be disbursed as current capital in the agriculture sector, fixing the maximum interest rate at client level at five percent.

“The rural small and medium farmers will get the loan from the fund and they can use the money in producing agriculture, flower, fruits, fish, poultry etc,” she told the conference from her Ganabhaban official residence here.

Sheikh Hasina simultaneously announced allocation of an increased amount of Taka 9,000 crore as a subsidy in fertiliser in the next budget as part of government strategy to minimize impact of the deadly virus on economy enhancing yield.

The premier exchanged views and issued directives as the public representatives and officials took part in the virtual conference from the 16 costal districts in the two southwestern divisions to review the present coronavirus situation.

The prime minister also declared an allocation of Taka 200 crore for harvesting and mechanisation of agriculture and Taka 150 crore for seeds and seedlings distribution among affected farmers so that they can continue agriculture production.

She said Bangladesh still was an agriculture-dependent country and the current situation demanded enhanced volume and “that i’s why we are taking special measures”.

Sheikh Hasina said the nation now await start of boro harvesting soon while her government would procure extra two lakh tonnes of paddy compared to the last fiscal to ensure fair price for the producers.

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