KHULNA, March 24, 2017 (BSS)- The prime minister's one of 10 priority initiatives Ektee Bari, Ektee Khamar" or "One house, one farm" project so far benefited 36,499 people in 5,000 families of Khulna, upgrading their financial status and standard of life, officials said yesterday.
Deputy Director of Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB) Tofazzel Hossain told BSS that the benefited people belonged to 614 cooperative societies under 68 unions of the district.
"They were given loans amounting Taka 54 crore under the project since its launching in 2009 with an aim to making the ultra poor self-reliant," he said.
Hossain said members of the societies by now became self-reliant and capable of running their businesses independently.
He said of the total amount of the loan, Taka 20.25 crore was the deposit money of society members, Taka 16.86 crore was government grants and Taka 17.23 crore was provided by the government as loan.
"Most of the borrowers have already paid back their loans," he said.
He said authorities, however, did not take any punitive step against the defaulters. "We took a flexible stance, encouraging them to pay their outstanding loans as early as possible", he added".
When contacted, Lipi Begum, a landless lady of Jabusha village in Rupsha upazila of the district, on Wednesday was retelling her success story in running a small business. The 30-year-old Lipi Begum said she is now able to run her business with loan showing sign of success.
Lipi said she borrowed Taka 20,000 as credit in 2011 and bought a cow. After rearing the cow for two years, the hardworking Lipi has now become able to pay back Taka 10,000.
She now earns Taka 100 per day by selling milk after meeting the demand for milk in the family. Lipi is planning to start a poultry farm very soon to widen her small business horizon.
President of Jabusha Village Development Committee, a cooperative society, under Rupsha upazila of Khulna Abdul Gaffar said that each member of the society can borrow loan ranging from Taka 5,000 to 30, 000 at an annual interest rate of 8 percent.
Khulna Deputy Commissioner Nazmul Ahsan said 'Ektee Bari, Ektee Khamar' project is playing a vital role in alleviating poverty in the country.
"We requested the officials concerned to take initiative for recovering loan from defaulters in a flexible manner. We also asked the officials, including UNOs, to resolve any problem through discussion and to help the poor families in different ways," he said.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)