It seems, the governor of Bangladesh Bank has a very well wish in rural development. It is the first time, he says that money will flow from urban to rural areas which was opposite for a long period. The rural people produces food, but they sleeps in hungry. They generates income for national development, but they lives in dark without electricity. They feed the urban people, but they are malnourished. About all previous government focuses on the development of urban areas; rural development was only in the write ups and speeches of meeting. Breaking the traditional norms, the governor Atiur Rahman is going to exercise his experiences in rural development through declaring agricultural loan policy 2009.
He is ambitious about the policy outcome; in his voice, `transparency will be ensured in loan distribution, so that the real farmers get the loan for their harvest’. ‘Loans this time will therefore be disbursed among the rural people by gathering them by beating drums,’ he said.
The rural people announced programmes by beating drum at the hat (rural market places) due to lack of availability of mordern electric equipment; but now a days, these euipments like Microphone (Mike) are available at the rural areas. May be the governor emphasises on drum due to re-call the traditional system of rural areas. Anyway, using this process, the governor plans to distribute total Tk.11,512.30 crore agricultural loan to the farmers in fiscal year 2009-10 through Banks and NGOs.
In the 2008–09 fiscal year, agriculture loan disbursement stood at Tk 9,300 crore against the target of Tk 9,389 crore. Keeping it mind, this year the governor plans to utilise commercialised and foreign bank like Standard Chartered, Citi Bank, HSBC etc along with Six Government Bank including spcialised Bank Krishi and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank to reach a great target for loan distribution.
Six government banks, including specialised Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank, have been given a target to disburse Tk 8,453 crore among farmers and the central bank has given 29 private banks a target of Tk 2,594.40 crore for disbursement and 10 foreign banks a target of Tk 464.90 crore.
The intention of the policy is very pleasant, but a good intension is not enough to implement it in the practical field like rural Bangladesh where most of the innocent farmers has a good fear about goverment loan. Traditionally most of the farmers are not aware about loan, but they are well-known in micro-credit which is more costlier than government loan. The farmers who wishes to take loan from bank, they will go in the Krishi or Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank or any other government banks only.
But the commercial banks who have not any local branch in all districts (farmers mostly go at the upazilla level for banking purpose where have not any branch at all of any commercial bank), how they will disburse their portion of loan to the farmers? Answers may be simple! They will distribute agricultural loan to the urban corporate business man who wishes to cultivate the land at rural areas and in this process, the corporate farming system will be strengthened in rural areas and real farmers will be becoming wages labourers of these corporate farms. Not only that the corporate business people will hardly use the total amount in the agricultural loan in harvesting; a great portion of loan could be used in the industrial sector! Business people will like it, because it will take only 2 percent interest! If it happens, a very good dream will be ended in a nightmare! Can we imagine it? We could be!
Dear Governor, do you dream such? I know, absolutely not! So, You should to think it before going to implement your policy to achieve the targeted outcome.