… finance minister says only those eligible are given 

National Assembly Khar-Yurung MP Tshering Chhoden said in her constituency women groups aspiring for textile initiatives did not get more than Nu 50,000 loan from NCSI bank whereas those loan borrowers for agriculture got more the loan amount.

She shared with Kuensel that the situation was similar in other constituencies as well. “In five gewogs and 25 chiwogs in my constituency none got more than Nu 50,000 loan.”

Finance Minister Namgay Tshering said the applicants were screened and only those fulfilling the criteria such as the potential of the borrowers to repay the loan, create employment, and sustainability of the business were given loan.

Rinchen Zangmo and some more weavers from Pemagatshel wanted to avail at least Nu 200,000 from NCSI Bank for their weaving business. “With the hike in the price of silk I cannot afford, so Nu 50,000 loan came as a relief,” Rinchen said.

Weavers said that since they weave hor and kushuthara, which can earn between Nu 20,000 and Nu 50,000, they could repay a Nu 200,000 loan.

They said many weavers withdrew their proposal from the NCSI bank when they were informed they would be eligible for Nu 50,000.  “NCSI Bank is willing to provide more than Nu 200,000 for agricultural initiatives,” Tshering Choden, a weaver said.

The finance minister said NCSI Bank so far lent Nu 53 million (M) to 339 applicants for weaving initiatives.

Jomotshangkha-Martshala MP Norbu Wangzom said given the difficulty in accessing loans from the bank, people thought it had no capital.

Lyonpo Namagy Tshering said: “This year we injected Nu 158M. Only those borrowers who fulfilled the criteria were given loans.”

In 16 months, NCSI bank provided loans amounting to Nu 1.2 billion (B)- agriculture sector (Nu 500M), livestock development (Nu 461M), manufacturing and production (Nu 200M), service development (Nu 92M), continuing business (Nu 33M).

By Yangyel Lhaden

Edited by Tshering Palden