The government is going to enact a new law soon to monitor funding sources, spending and status of the micro finance institutions in the country.
Drafting of the law has already been completed and it is likely to be passed in the next session of Parliament, Finance and Planning Minister M Saifur Rahman said Wednesday, reports UNB.
The draft of the law was earlier placed before the cabinet which referred it to the concerned ministry for further amendment, he said, addressing the opening session of the 26th annual general meeting of ASA, a non-government organisation, at the IDB conference room.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Salehuddin Ahmed was the special guest at the function chaired by ASA board chairperson Tahrunnesa Abdullah.
ASA founder and chairman Shafiqul Haque Chowdhury gave the address of welcome at the session, where four micro credit recipients from across the country told their success story in achieving self-reliance.
About the objective of the proposed law, Saifur Rahman said the new law would enable the authorities to monitor the source of financing of the micro finance institutions, thus ensuring transparency in funding and spending.
Underscoring the need for micro credit, he urged all the micro finance institutions to increase their credit limit and also reduce the interest rate so that the receivers could reap the real benefit of the loan taken.
The finance minister also called upon these institutions to give special attention in distributing credit in the agriculture production, fisheries and agro-processing sectors.
"I want the micro finance institutions to get involved in these sectors and in other agriculture financing for sustainable development of the country," he said.
The minister came down heavily on some NGOs being overwhelmingly funded by foreign agencies saying that they always tried to uphold the norms and values of their parent countries.
Lauding the ASA's activities, Saifur Rahman said ASA is one of the institutions, which is being run through the domestic fund.
Speaking on the occasion, Bangladesh Bank Governor Salehuddin Ahmed said micro credit is not the only device for poverty reduction. "We've to concentrate on the other options."
Emphasising diversification of credit areas, he said: "Most of our credit goes to finance and trade… we should give attention to the production sector. Unless it is done, the overall growth of the country will not be achieved."
Salehuddin also laid emphasis on identifying the pockets of poverty to help the hardcore poor.
Micro credit should reach the poor of the `monga'-prone northern districts and the `char' people to alleviate poverty, he said, adding collective efforts are needed to propel Bangladesh out of poverty.
Speaking at the function, ASA founder and Chairman Shafiqul Haque Chowdhury said the rate of credit collection of ASA is 99.86 per cent.
He said the network of ASA has been expanded to all the 64 districts of the country and the membership of the NGO has crossed the six million (60 lakh) mark.
The ASA chairman requested the Finance Minister to bring all the micro finance institutions under legal framework to ensure accountability and transparency of these institutions.