DUSHANBE, February 6, Asia-Plus -- In 2005, the state-run and commercial banks in Tajikistan provided 296 million Somonis in micro loans, Murodali Alimardonov, head of the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) announced at a briefing in Dushanbe on February 6.   .

According to the Tajik central bank head, micro credits for 94 million Somonis were provided to entrepreneurs in Sughd province, 81 million Somonis in micro loans were provided in Dushanbe , 55 million Somonis in Khatlon province, 50 million Somonis in the districts subordinate to the center (RRP) and 15 million Somonis in Gorno Badakhshan.  

“99.8 percent of the loans provided have already been paid off,” Alimardonov said, adding that this year, an amount of the provided loans will have been increased four times.  

According to the NBT head, a total amount of all the loans provided during last year amounted to US$1.285 billion, which is 17 percent more compared to 2004.  

Head of the Tajik central bank also noted that number of deposits opened in the banks in Tajikistan had also increased.  “If in 2004, a total number of banks’ clients across the republic was 752,000 people, last year the number of those having deposits in banks and holding plastic cards and using other services rendered by banks increased to 955,000 people,” said Mr. Alimardonov, “Number of users of plastic cards last year increased and has been 4,486 people as of January 1 2006.”