BSS, Rajshahi : Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (RAKUB) has disbursed around Tk 1008 crore as loan to boost rural economy alongside employment generation in the country’s northwest region in the first nine months of the current 2013-14 fiscal. Of the disbursed loans, Tk 461 crore was sanctioned for crop production, Tk 10.25 crore for fisheries, Tk 49.33 crore for animal resources, Tk 2.63 crore for farm and irrigation machineries, Tk 20.30 crore for agro-based industries, Tk 60.37 crore for SMEs, Tk 270.53 crore as cash credit, Tk 33.25 crore for poverty reduction and Tk 94.48 crore for different other need-based sectors. Side by side with the disbursement, the bank has also recovered Tk 1141 crore including Taka 277 crore classified loan and mobilized deposit worth Tk 2598 crore during the same time. RAKUB, headquartered in Rajshahi, has been operating its banking activities as the largest development partner in all 16 northwest districts of Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions targeting agriculture sector and all its sub-sectors. Managing Director Mofazzal Hossain told BSS that the bank has set a target of disbursing Tk 1,450 crore as loan, recovery of Tk 1,500 crore including classified loan worth Tk 650 crore and deposit mobilization of Tk 3,000 crore in the current fiscal. “We are very much hopeful about attaining the set targets of disbursement, recovery and deposit mobilization,” he added. Mofazzal Hossain said the present government had earmarked the huge money for RAKUB for disbursing as crop and rural uplift loan only in the northwest Bangladesh during the current fiscal. To build a poverty-free Bangladesh, he said, the bank has enhanced its lending activities in multipurpose potential fields for boosting agriculture production, intensifying food security and flourishing poultry and dairy sectors to reduce protein deficiency. Production of pulse, oil-seed, maize and spice crops was brought under special credit programme at 4 percent interest rate to lessen the import pressure of the items. Disadvantaged and underprivileged people in the region were brought under the financial inclusion programme. “We have adopted special credit programme for encouraging the people for setting up solar power, biogas and waste management plant for generating eco- friendly and alternative power to face the power supply deficit,” he said adding, “Credit is being extended to the sector on a priority basis.” As the largest development partner in agriculture as well as agro-based industry sector of the region, currently the bank has adopted multipurpose development programmes, which are being implemented at the grassroots to make the credit programmes easier. More than 170 branches have, so far, been brought under automation and all the 371 branches will be brought under modern banking system by 2014. The bank is expecting to introduce various updated banking services like online and SMS banking and ATM booths.