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Rural Savings Bank Bill 2013 gets cabinet approval

Dhaka, Nov 11: In a move to constitute a specialised bank in the country with a focus on micro savings, the Cabinet on Monday (11 November 2013)  approved the draft of the ‘Rural Savings Bank Bill, 2013’ subject to the Law Ministry’s vetting. The decision was taken at the regular meeting of the Cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said that following the success of the ‘One House One Farm’ project in generating more income of the rural people through building savings and investing their savings in poverty alleviation and in women’s empowerment, the Bank and Financial Institution Division moved the proposal to give an institutional shape to these activities through a specialised bank. He said the village organisations/samities under the ‘One House One Farm’ project would be the shareholders of this specialised bank with 51 per cent government stake while the rest of 49 percent stake would be obtained by the village organisation and samities under the project.

The authorised capital of the Bank would be Tk 1,000 crore while the paid-up capital Tk 200 crore, and the government could increase the authorised capital from time to time through issuing gazette.
Of the 15-member board of the bank, eight will be drawn from the government while the rest of seven from the village samities under the project from seven divisions.

Among the eight directors to be nominated by the government, there will be representatives from the Rural Development and Cooperatives Division, Director General of the Bangladesh Rural Development Board, Registrar of Cooperatives and a representative from the Finance Ministry. The rest four members will be experts on rural economics, microfinance and accounting.

The Director of the Board will be appointed for three years while the Managing Director to will be appointed by the Board with approval from the Bangladesh Bank.

Highlighting some differences of the proposed Rural Savings Bank with Grameen Bank, the Cabinet Secretary said that the Grameen Bank focuses on micro credit while the Rural Savings Bank on micro savings, and the engagement of the government would be higher in this proposed bank which was less in the Grameen Bank. The Cabinet Secretary said that the meeting gave the final approval to the draft of the ‘Bangladesh Energy and Power Research Council Bill, 2013’ subject to vetting of the Law Ministry in a bid to strengthen research activities in this sector.

The Council will conduct researches on its own, help others to conduct research works and coordinate the researches of different institutions and thus play a role in improving the qualitative standard of researches.

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