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Press Release
Cheque of Tk. 20 million Hand over to MIDAS

Royal Tower,4 Panthopath, Dhaka-1215.

Press Release, 2. 5. 2010

Chairman of SME Foundation Mr. Aftab ul Islam, FCA said, SME Foundation is going to start credit wholesaling programme in full force round the country. Terming the SME sector as the thrust one in the economic development of the country , he said that the majority of our small and medium entrepreneurs are women, belonging to the lower middle class...but cannot get funding from commercial banks due to their inability to provide collateral, Mr. Aftab ul Islam said, Commercial banks are still reluctant to deal with small and medium enterprises, based on misapprehensions.

While handing over a cheque of Tk. 20 million (today, Sunday) to Rokiya Afzal Rahman, chairman of MIDAS & former advisor to the care taker govt , the SME Foundation Chief Aftab ul Islam also said, "The number of small entrepreneurs without access to credit is large," The objective of the credit wholesaling program is to ensure the access to credits to targeted SMEs; mainly for smalls who are treated as the missing middle in context of accessing to formal financial services, -he added.
Earlier, an agreement was signed in-between Midas & SMEF where Managing Director of SMEF Syed Rezwanul Kabir & Shafique-ul-Azam, Managing Director ,MIDAS Financing Ltd signed on their counter part.
Mr. Aftab ul Islam thanked the Bangladesh Bank Governor for a credit policy for the country's small and medium enterprises (SMEs). He said, In the past, Policies used to focus primarily on macro- and micro-level enterprises. Then, government and the banks used to deal with matters relating to financial and policy supports for large and medium enterprises, industrial or otherwise.
The SME Foundation chairperson said, financing the micro enterprises has been the job of a large fleet of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Actually, there was none to look after the interests of small enterprises. But there has been a change of heart from the middle part of the last decade when policymakers started talking about promoting SMEs -he added

Mr. Islam told that, espite the fact that financing remains at the top of the list of problems faced by the SMEs, their inability to provide collateral against loans remains a disadvantage. And more importantly, the majority of them are in dire need of operating fund than investment fund. The Bangladesh bank exactly has been trying to encourage the banks to take up that role and made available refinancing facilities to them with clear advice to extend credit to more and more SME entrepreneurs
Mr. Aftab ul Islam said , "The common misunderstanding is that the SMEs might fail to pay back loans which is not true to the fact. Women entrepreneurs should give more priority to bring them in production for womens’ empowerment and gender equality .“The present government is SME friendly and all concerned should utilize the opportunity timely,” they said adding that identified constraints in this sector could be solved by both government and private sectors jointly. He underscored the need for removing all the barriers on the way of flourishing SMEs which is the pre-condition of nation’s industrial advancement. He also stressed the need for creating an effective women friendly environment in the commerce and industrial sector so that they (women) can put their worth in national development, So, to get SME credit programme materialised, Midas Finanancing Ltd. & to address the issues in making adequate funds available to the SMEs specially in the "Kombol Gram" & Satrunji gram" of the North zone of the country.
The Midas chairman, Rokiya Afzal Rahman said that a key to economic progress for both developing and developed nations was fostering the growth of SMEs. where as, lack of capital and poor access to private sector loans are serious constraints for small and medium start-ups. Small and medium entrepreneurs also suffer other common constraints such as difficulties in procuring raw materials, lack of access to relevant business information, low technological capabilities, and regulations that generate market distortions, Shetold the meeting.
Presided over by Mr. Aftab ul Islam the function was also addressed by the Managing Director of SMEF Syed Rezwanul Kabir & Managing Director ,MIDAS Mr.Shafique-ul-Azam .
SM Nurul Alam
SME Foundation