Customers can now take affordable green housing loans for 20 years at only 5% interest from the refinance scheme formed for eco-friendly products, projects, or initiatives.
Previously, this loan could be obtained for a maximum period of 10 years.
In the new guidelines for the Tk400 crore refinance scheme, the central bank said this affordable loan could now be accessed for pre-certified green industries, green buildings, and buildings featuring green initiatives.
Previously, customers could apply for these loans only after obtaining the final certificate.
Besides, the interest rate has also been reduced at the bank and customer levels. Henceforth, the central bank will charge banks 1% interest, compared to 3% earlier.
In addition, customers previously had to pay 5-6% interest based on the loan tenure. Now customers will have to pay 5% interest on all term loans.
However, as a government priority sector, interest has to be paid at a maximum of 3% against the loan to the “solar irrigation pump” products of the agricultural sector.
The previous policy had a ceiling on availing loans from the scheme against various products. This limit has been withdrawn in the new circular. That is, any amount of loan can be taken against 70 products if there is justification.
In the new guidelines, the loan amount against the investment has been increased. Earlier, a customer would obtain a Tk80 loan against his investment of Tk100. As per the new guidelines, the customer will get Tk70 for his investment of Tk100.
Earlier, the loan grace period was 6-18 months; under the new guidelines, it has been fixed at a maximum of 12 months.
According to the circular, the state-owned banks will be able to give loans under this refinance scheme without any conditions. However, non-performing loans must be below 10% for commercial banks to take loans from the scheme. This condition was not present in the previous circular.
A senior official at the central bank said, “We have had discussions with several parties, including banks. They gave us various suggestions. Some of them are good, so we have accepted them.
“Earlier, there were some hurdles to taking an affordable green housing loan. They have been removed by the new guidelines. As a result, the lower and lower-middle-class people will benefit from getting loans from the refinance scheme.”
According to the new circular, these loans will be taken against 70 products under eco-friendly products, projects, or initiatives. Earlier, it was 68. Two new products, named Lithium Battery Manufacturing Plant and Jute Products Manufacturing Industry, have been added.
Earlier, there were different loan tenures for different products, but in the new circular, loans will be given for 3-10 years for all types of products.