Decision taken in light of the increasing trend in the use of digital devices by teachers and students across all academic institutions
From now on, banks can provide a maximum of 70% loans under the consumer loans category for anyone willing to purchase digital devices.
Bangladesh Bank's Banking Regulation and Policy Department issued a notice on Monday readjusting the loan-margin ratio to 70:30 instead of the existing 30:70 for consumer loans entailing purchase of digital devices, with immediate effect.
According to the notice, the decision has been taken in light of the increasing trend in the use of digital devices by teachers and students across all academic institutions, and to increase digital accessibility at the grassroots level as part of the government's vision for a Digital Bangladesh.
However, Prof Mustafizur Rahman, a distinguished fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), pointed out that although the move is commendable and helps keep up with the current scenario of the pandemic, the government needs to further take steps to reach the marginalized demographic that does not have the capacity to bear even 30% of the purchasing capacity.
“This is a good way, but this cannot be the only way. To impact the marginalized people, the government has to provide digital devices through schools or institutions,” said Rahman.
“Availability of technology to more consumers increases the general target market for the industry broadly. This means our products and services potentially also reach more consumers,” said the CEO of an IT firm.
According to Fahad Hassan Sameer, a consumer, this helps middle-income families to cope up with the need for digital devices in keeping up with everyday tasks, many of which are becoming virtual.
“I have three other siblings at home who all need electronic devices for either academic needs or even social purposes amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“But liquidity is a big issue for middle-income families like ours, although the need for purchasing smart devices is an immediate one with everyday tasks becoming digital,” he added.