NO MONEY FOR MARRIAGE, PLEASE!

Don't fund luxury and the culture of consumption. Give money, instead, to agriculture, SMEs and housing. The warning and advice came from central bank governor Salehuddin Ahmed who met the chief executives of all government, private, specialised and foreign banks Sunday. Shun unproductive and risky ventures, he told them. "Some banks even offer loans for marriage!" The governor, speaking to reporters after the meeting, said he had advised all banks to decide on loans cautiously in view of the prevailing global economic crisis. "The banking sector in western countries has plunged into a big crisis as they gave away money without much scrutiny," the governor said. "So we must exercise utmost caution. Consumer loans, unproductive loans have to be brought down as much as possible," he said of his recommendations to the bank CEOs. "In the present situation of the country, money should be diverted to the productive sectors, especially agriculture, small and medium businesses (SME) and housing. "More money for these sectors would mean more jobs and desired growth of GDP." On the impact of the global crisis, the governor said: "We are observing the overall situation carefully. The banks are being given guidelines accordingly.

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