Muhith: Bangladesh to become poverty-free by 2021

‘The microcredit organisations are playing a great role here although the rate of interest is a bit high in the country. Small traders will be benefited if the rate can be reduced. That is the area where we need to put more focus’ said Muhith

  • Finance Minister AMA Muhith speaks at a micrrocredit convention in the city yesterday

Finance Minister AMA Muhith has categorically claimed that Bangladesh will be able to eradicate poverty within 2021 as various poverty alleviation programmes undertaken by both government and non-government organisations are being implemented successfully across the country.

“Microcredit programs are also playing a pivotal role in country’s socio economic development,” said finance minister yesterday while addressing a national micro-credit convention titled “Towards Poverty Alleviation and Social Development: The Role of MFIs” held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital.

Speaking as chief guest at the concluding ceremony, finance minister Muhith said:

“Microcredit is also playing a key role in the improvement of the country’s socio-economic condition.”

Referring to the four crore countrymen living below the poverty line, out of which two crore live below extreme poverty, the finance minister also made it clear that these people must be made financially solvent to free the country from the curse of poverty.

More people would be encouraged to begin their own business, providing them with an adequate capital as well as an environment congenial for doing business, he added.

“The microcredit organisations are playing a great role here although the rate of interest is a bit high in the country. Small traders will be benefited if the rate can be reduced. That is the area where we need to put more focus” said Muhith.

Economic Division under Planning Commission in its latest poverty reduction data revealed that the percentage of country’s poverty level declined to 25% in 2014 while it was 31.5%  in 2010. In 1992, Bangladesh poverty rate was 56.7%.

World Bank in its report also showed that the poverty rate declined by 6% in the last four years because of raising wage rate in Bangladesh.

Addressing the convention, Palli Karma -Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said: “Only money won’t be able to remove poverty from the country while microcredit programs are also plagued with host of problems.”

He also said, “What needs to be done is to spot those shortcomings and we also need to ensure that every one is receiving the benefits of such programmes”.

Being special guest Sarah Cooke, country representative of DFID, Bangladesh  said, “We have been running a poverty alleviation program during the last couple of years with the help of PKSF and additional 1000 additional loans were disbursed since then.”

 

“Our credit programs design development of the livelihood of the beneficiaries with the involvement of technologies along with the market linkages,” she also said. Sarah Cooke also wondered how a woman in Kurimgram district changed her life style radically with the credit from PKSF-selected NGOs.

The conference was also addressed, among others, by executive vice chairman of Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) Khandaker Muzahrul Haque, executive director of Institute of Microfinance Professor M A Baqui Khalily, and PKSF Managing Director Md Abdul Karim.

A two-day conference on the role of microcredit organisations in social development and poverty elimination kicked off in the capital on Saturday.

Institute of Microfinance, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation and the Microcredit Regulatory Authority jointly organised the conference.

Ten sessions on a wide range of microcredits were arranged for Sunday at the conference. These sessions were attended by Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu and former governor of Bangladesh Bank Mohammad Farashuddin.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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