Govt plans to offer student loan on cards to buy laptops
Update: Rahmat Ullah Sonie, GEEBD, 13 Feb 2014
The government plans to offer a special loan for the university students to help them buy laptops of their likings.
The plan is likely to be implemented in association with a commercial bank and a state-run lending agency while Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division and the respective university authorities would act as the guarantors.
“Rupali Bank, a public-limited commercial bank and Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) have already agreed on the proposal,” state minister for ICT division Zunaid Ahmed Palak made the disclosure while talking to the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.
“We are also trying to engage some local and international donor agencies to support the program as our plan is to turn our whole students as a modern working force, equipping them with the latest ICT-related technologies.’’
Declining to share more details about the duration of the loan repayment, he said: “It is an ongoing process and we are going to implement our plan shortly.”
Earlier, the then ICT ministry had undertaken a plan for disbursing loans among 80,000 university students to help buy their laptops.
The then ministry had also formed a committee on the specialized loans for laptops and fixed terms of reference to recommend the method of disbursing the loan, which will finally have to be approved by Finance Minister AMA Muhith and Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr. Atiur Rahman.
ICT Secretary Nazrul Islam Khan had undertaken an initiative and held series of meetings with the central bank governor and with the chairman of University Grants Commission (UGC) to discuss the matter.
Later on, the then ICT ministry also arranged a seminar on “Credit towards Laptop for University Students.”
Currently, there are 12.5 lakh university students across the country, and out of them, only 250,000 students have laptops, according University Grants Commission.
Managing Director of BRAC Bank Syed Mahmudur Rahman said: “It might cost around Tk3,500 crore for providing loans among the students having no computer. If the central bank gives us loan with 5% interest rate, we can disburse it among them in between 7%-8% rate.
State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak also said: “We are also planning to reduce the internet bandwidth price and a declaration will be made shortly in this regard.”
-Source: Dhaka Tribune