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FA rules out claims of growing poverty PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Desk Report

Finance adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam has brushed aside claims that an increasing number of people have fallen below the poverty line in recent years.

"According to a report of the World Bank, the rate of poverty reduction has fallen since 2005, but the process of poverty alleviation has been boosted.

So, this claim is not authentic," Mirza Aziz said Tuesday at a workshop organised by the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Foundation.
 
The workshop on 'Sustainable Strategies for SME Financing' in the city's Sonargaon Hotel was attended by CEOs of commercial banks, senior government officials and other regulators.
 
Kazi M Aminul Islam, secretary to the chief adviser's office, and central bank governor Salehuddin Ahmed were the special guests at the workshop chaired by SME Foundation chairman Abdul-Muyeed Chowdhury.
 
The initiative is aimed at finding sustainable strategies for SME financing at single digit interest rates.
 
The adviser in his speech as chief guest said that SMEs were a major tool for poverty reduction.
 
"Financing is a major problem, but not the only one. There are also issues regarding materials management, factory management, efficient use of human resources, marketing and product design," said Mirza Aziz.
 
He suggested a coordinated problem-solving approach to eliminate the limitations of SMEs.
 
The adviser also asked banks to regard SME financing as a part of their corporate social responsibility.
 
He criticised the reluctance of business people to raise money from the capital market.
 
Bangladesh Bank governor Salehuddin Ahmed said that every entrepreneur should be included under 'formal or semi-formal' financial systems.
 
"Success in micro-finance has proved that SMEs are capable of handling bank financing if provided proper assistance," he added.
 
The central bank chief asked bankers to be flexible regarding monthly installments saying that SMEs could not be treated like large entrepreneurs.
 
"Their needs and requirements are different," he added.
 
The BB governor said the central bank was trying to reduce the overall interest rate for loans.
 
He also suggested immediate measures for special training as private banks lacked specialised manpower for smaller loans.

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