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BB extends GTF scheme to jute goods exporters

Bangladesh Bank on Monday extended the loan facility from its $200-million green transformation fund to export-oriented jute goods manufacturers.The BB introduced the GTF refinance scheme on January 15, 2016 for the export-oriented industries of the textile and leather sectors to set up environment-friendly infrastructures.A central bank circular issued by BB deputy general manager Jagannath Chandra Ghosh onMonday said that to widen the scope of the GTF, the jute product manufacturing sector was also included in the refinancing scheme.The GTF is initially intended to facilitate access to financing in foreign exchange by all manufacturer-exporters in export-oriented textiles and textile products, and leather manufacturing sectors to import capital machinery and accessories for implementing environment-friendly initiatives.The refinance fund is being provided for water use efficiency in wet processing, water conservation and management, waste management, resource efficiency and recycling, renewable energy, energy efficiency, heat and temperature management, air ventilation and circulation efficiency and work environment improvement initiatives in the export-oriented textiles and leather industries.In August this year, the BB as part of its move to widen the scheme, reduced the interest rate of the scheme to six-month USD LIBOR plus 1 per cent instead of six-month USD LIBOR plus 2.25 per cent.BB officials said that the move to include jute products industry in the GTF refinancing scheme was taken following proposals from the jute ministry.In August this year, the textiles and jute ministry sent a letter to the finance ministry and the BB seeking Tk 10,000-crore export promotion fund for the jute sector so that jute and jute goods exporters could get low-interest loans from the fund.The textiles and jute ministry said exporters, who produce products using imported raw materials, were getting loans at only two per cent rate of interest from the BB’s Export Development Fund but the jute and jute goods exporters are not eligible for the loans despite the fact that they make their products using only local raw materials.

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