Bangladesh Association of Banks (BAB) on Monday donated Tk 136.20 crore (Tk 1.36 billion) to three organisations dedicated to social welfare, education and autistic people.
The three organisations are Jatir Janak Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Trust, the prime minister’s Education Assistance Trust Fund and Suchana Foundation, an organisation led by PM Sheikh Hasina's daughter Saima Wazed, dedicated to the autistic people.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina received the donation cheques from the representatives of 37 banks at her official residence Ganobhaban.
Education minister Nurul Islam Nahid, planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, army chief general Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq, FBBCI president Abdul Matlub Ahmad, BAB president Nazrul Islam Majumder and chairmen and senior officials of the banks were present.
The BAB donated Tk 57.45 crore for the Jatir Janak Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Trust while Tk 50.25 crore for the PM's Education Assistance Trust Fund and Tk 28.50 crore for Suchana Foundation.
Islami Bank has given the highest amount of Tk 15 crore followed by National Bank with Tk 6 crore. Nine banks have provided Tk 5 crore each and other commercial banks Tk 4 crore each.
The BAB president greeted the prime minister with a bouquet of 37 roses on behalf of the 37 banks.
The prime minister said the government always gives utmost importance to the education sector and wants to advance the sector further. "Education is the only tool to make the country free from poverty and hunger. We want to ensure that the country's students complete their education properly."
She said the government will do everything for the country's welfare with its own resource. "We want to involve everyone in the social safety net programme and grants in the social safety net contribute a lot."
Hasina said apart from government's various initiatives, there is a fund called the prime minister’s Education Assistance Trust Fund for ensuring education for all. "We're helping students up to PhD level," she said.
About Suchana Foundation which is dedicated to the autistic children, she said Saima founded the organisation to create awareness among people. "We're planning to set up one centre at every school across the country... we'll send psychologists to the schools to train up guardians and teachers."
Extending her thanks to the bankers for the donation, the Prime Minister said her government is making efforts to make education affordable for everyone.
"We've launched the trust fund with a government fund of Tk 1000 crore. We want active participation of the private sector to the generous work," she said adding that all support to education and autistic people will enjoy tax exemption.
Hasina praised the role of private banks in strengthening the country's economy and generating employment.
Later, different organisations under BEPZA donated money to the PM's Relief Fund and Jatir Janak Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Trust.
Executive chairman of BEPZA major general Muhammad Habibur Rahman on behalf of all investors handed over Tk 2.55 crore to the prime minister's Relief Fund.
Besides, Smart Group of Industries donated Tk 25 lakh, Kung Tang Apparels Limited Tk 50 lakh, Epic Garments Tk 25 lakh, Nanta Group Tk 25 lakh, Qatar Marble 25 lakh and United Power Generation Tk 50 lakh.
Pacific Jeans donated Tk 50 lakh to the Jatir Janak Bangabandhu Memorial Trust while Evergreen Group Tk 1 crore.
Nitol-Niloy Group, Dhaka Motors, Bengal Group and Crown Cement donated Tk 1 crore each to PM's Relief Fund while Aman Group, Refab, Anwar Group of Industries, Banshundhara Group, Unique Group and Desh Energy Tk 2 crore each and Amin Mohammad Group Tk 3 crore.