Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday announced that a Palli Sanchay Bank will be established in the country so that rural people could utilize their savings for a better life and change their fate.
“We’ll set up a Palli Sanchay Bank (Rural Savings Bank) for the rural poor so that they could utilize their savings although we’ll have to convince the Banking Division of the Ministry of Finance to this end,” Hasina said.
The Prime Minister was addressing a function marking the inauguration of Digital Banking and award distribution at national level of the ‘One House One Farm’ project held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) yesterday afternoon.
Hasina said the way the ‘One House One Farm’ project has been showing a new path in poverty alleviation, the same way Palli Sanchay Bank should have to be set up for rural people so that no one could play ducks and drakes with the fate of this bank.
She noted that the poor people of the country earlier could not stand on their own feet after receiving microcredit from different microfinance institutions due to the increasing interests.
“What we’ve seen earlier that a poor person took microcredit from an institution, but he or she couldn’t repay the interest….they again had to borrow from another organization. As a result, they became overburdened with credit and their interests,” she added.
Hasina went on saying, “We want to free the country from this situation ….so we’re talking about small savings, not microcredit so that the rural people could stand on their own feet.”
Mentioning that the objective behind each and every act of the present government is to alleviate poverty further, the premier directed the authorities of the ‘One House One Farm’ to implement the project properly giving due importance not vying for becoming rich overnight and thus led it to the verge of extinction. “You’ll implement the project more carefully.”
The Prime Minister said the previous Awami League government after assuming the office in 1996 introduced the ‘One House One Farm’ Project aimed at alleviating poverty.
“But, the successive BNP-Jamaat Alliance Government stopped the programme like many other pro-people projects like community clinics undertaken during 1996-2001 period,” she said.
Mentioning that her government has been working tirelessly to strengthen the rural economy, Hasina also underscored the need for not leaving even one inch of land fallow.
She also said her government, if voted to power again, would set up plots up to upazila and union level so that the rural people could have a better living.
Listing various achievements of the country towards the use of ICT, the Prime Minister also noted that the people of Bangladesh have set an example in the world on technology use in their lives.
The Prime Minister informed that over nine lakh families in rural areas have already been brought under online banking system, while Tk 170 crore were transacted through online.
She said the rural people are taking loans from the fund and developing various small projects, rearing of cattle, and setting up poultry farms.
Earlier, the Prime Minister opened the digital banking for the rural poor. She was also apprised of the activities of the online banking.
Hasina also joined a 'uthan baithak' arranged on the premises of the BICC. She talked to the beneficiaries and gave different directives to them.
Sheikh Hasina visited different schemes being implemented under the ‘One House One Farm Project’.
Before addressing the function, she also distributed National Awards among 19 people in 12 categories for their outstanding contribution to the ‘One House One Farm Project’ introduced by the Awami League government during its previous tenure.
The awardees included beneficiaries, managers, field organizers, upazila coordinators, upazila rural development officers, upazila nirbahi officers, UP chairman, upazila chairman, district coordinator, additional deputy commissioner and deputy commissioner.
The approval has already been given by Ecnec to expand the activities of the ‘One House One Farm’ project to over 40,527 villages of all unions of the country for which Tk 3,162 crore will be spent.
LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam, State Minister for Local Government, Rural Development & Cooperatives Jahangir Kabir Nanak, and acting Secretary of Rural Development and Cooperatives Division MA Kader Sarkar spoke on the occasion.
Director of the One House, one Farm Project Prashanta Kumar Rai delivered the welcome address.