Banking: Kelzang, 25, landed a job at one of the corporate offices in Thimphu a month ago and along with his wife, have been putting up at a cousin’s place for quite some time.

Kelzang always wanted to move into a new place and start an independent life but hasn’t been able to because of financial constraints.

With the Bhutan Development Bank Ltd (BDBL)’s new loan scheme called ‘the home settlement loan’, Kelzang will finally be able to turn his dream into a reality.

Kelzang availed a loan of Nu 200,000 from the bank, which was presented to him by finance minister Namgay Dorji during the launch of the bank’s new scheme yesterday.

“I come from a humble background where both of my parents are farmers,” Kelzang said. “I haven’t been able to afford a place of my own and now I can do that with the loan.”

He added: “Even with a job, it’s difficult to live comfortably in the capital. Now I will be able to start a new life with my wife,” he said.

Dorji Norbu, 22, who found a job just two weeks ago, also chose to avail the loan from the bank.

Dorji Norbu faces a number of financial challenges living in the city. He hopes the loan will be able to solve some of the challenges.

An annual interest of 13 percent against the principle amount is charged. The maximum amount that can be availed under the new scheme is Nu 200,000, which can be repaid within five years.

BDBL’s general manager with the corporate planning and research department, Pema Wangdi, said the scheme is expected to benefit new employees in any institution, corporation, autonomous body or government agency.

“We understand that the new employees that have started their career and are living far away from their families and hometown need the basic household amenities to settle down. We are offering the new scheme so that they can start their lives comfortably,” he said.

The scheme allows a client to avail the loan without having to declare collateral and the loan is provided based on a group guarantee model, where each group can comprise of three to five individuals that are newly employed and from the same agency or location. Group members can also be from different agencies or locations as long as one meets the eligibility criteria, Pema Wangdi said.

“This is a unique scheme available only with BDBL,” he said.

Thinley Zangmo