Through continuous monitoring and taking appropriate actions, Bangladesh Bank (BB) is trying to expand green finance in the country.
"Through different recent circulars, BB has increased the green product line to 52 and cut the interest rate of its own re-financing scheme," BB's Sustainable Finance Department General Manager Manoj Kumar Biswas told BSS.
According to the BB's latest data, the green banking activities of banks and financial institutions (FIs) have witnessed upward trend as the total volume of green finance has increased by 17.86 percent or Taka 2, 423.18 crore at the end of the April-June quarter compared to the previous January -March quarter of the year.
Despite the increase in the total green finance, the direct green finance has declined by 28.94 percent or Taka 351.59 crore in the last quarter compared to the previous one.
Manoj Kumar Biswas said BB has also kept a provision to take permission of green products, out of the eligible 52 products, by submitting necessary documents.
Thus, he said, BB is trying to make flexible all procedures of green investment and hoped that the green banking activities will expand further in future.
For providing BB's special focus on environment friendly green banking, National Credit and Commerce (NCC) Bank Chairman M Nurun Newaz said green investment is moving fast as banks and FIs have showed interest in financing the eco- friendly industries, businesses and other projects.
Mentioning the green industrialization as one of the priority areas of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said the growth of green investment through NCC bank is increasing day by day.
According to statistics, NCC Bank has disbursed Taka 749 crore in the first six months of the year which was Taka 835 crore in 2016.
To broaden the financing avenue for green products like solar energy, bio-gas plant and effluent treatment plant, BB established a revolving refinance scheme amounting to Taka 200 crore from its own fund in 2009.
The outstanding amount of the scheme was Taka 333 crore till August 2017 while the recovery was Taka 205 crore and total outstanding principle amount was Taka 128 crore. A total of 37 banks and 22 FIs have so far signed participation agreements to provide loans.
As per the recent master circular, banks can charge 8 percent interest on five-year loans of the scheme, 8.5 percent in the case of five to eight year period and 9 percent for above eight years.
If the bank provides the loan through agents or outsourcing or Micro Finance Institution (MFI), the interest rate will be 9, 9.5 and 10 percent respectively, the circular said.
But the interest rate will be 7 percent when it comes to the financing for the solar irrigation pumping system, the circular added.
But BB takes only 5 percent interest from the banks and FIs. -BSS