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PKB to boost commercial activities soon

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18th-Mar-2017       
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Kamruzzaman Bablu :
Probashi Kallyan Bank (PKB) is going to be a specialised scheduled bank to boost its banking activities.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave her consent to convert the PKB into a scheduled bank under the Bank Companies Act
An inter-ministerial meeting at the Ministry of Finance auditorium on Wednesday decided to make PKB a specialised scheduled bank. Finance Minister AMA Muhith presided over the meeting.
The meeting sources said the paid up capital of PKB will be increased to Tk400 crore from existing Tk100 crore.
The paid up capital of the PKB came down to Tk35 crore at the end of 2016 as a huge amount of funds was disbursed to potential expatriates by the PKB, officials who attended the meeting said.
According to the meeting decision, Finance Division will provide Tk250 crore fund to the PKB while the rest of the fund will come from the Wage Earners' Welfare Board.
On July 30, 2015, the Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam Bsc sent an official letter to Finance Minister AMA Muhith to take necessary steps for converting the bank into a specialised one.
In reply, finance minister made the comment that the Banking Division can place "prudent remark" in this connection.
He said the PKB cannot become an agency under any ministry. It must be a commercial bank.
The finance ministry applied to the Bangladesh Bank to open a clearing house to facilitate remittance home in late 2013.
The PKB also sent a letter to get membership of the clearing house.
Prime Minister and Bangladesh Bank Governor had discussed about the progress at a cabinet meeting on February 2, 2015.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave her consent to convert the PKB into a scheduled bank under the Bank Companies Act, said Bangladesh Bank sources.
According to clause 4 (6) of the Probashi Kallyan Bank Act 2010, the bank will be able to carry out commercial and banking activities.
Besides, clause 4 (7) of the Probashi Kallyan Bank Act 2010 has mentioned that the PKB can be converted into a scheduled bank with approval of the Bangladesh Bank.
Till date, the state-run PKB disbursed Tk75 crore collateral-free loans to 7,500 people going abroad for employment.
The spcialised bank was established by the government in 2010 to provide collateral-free loans to workers going abroad for employment, also to returnees from abroad to help them out for employment within the country and facilitate sending remittances by the wage-earners to invest in the country.
Meanwhile, several state-run banks including Ansar-VDP Bank also wants to be a scheduled bank.

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