CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

DCCI for spl fund to support businesses

Staff Correspondent | Published: 22:15, Mar 24,2020

 
 

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday urged the Bangladesh Bank to create an emergency fund with 1 per cent interest rate using foreign exchange reserve to support the financially-stressed businesses for paying salary of their workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The DCCI made the recommendation amid the global outbreak of coronavirus that has already affected industrial production, global supply chain, aviation and hospitability industry, retail business, demand for products and services and jobs, the chamber said in a press release.

Considering the situation, the central bank can waive bank interest of affected export-oriented manufacturing sectors for next one year, the trade body said.

The Bangladesh Bank can also consider extension of repayment period for worst-affected businesses and also should relax the cash reserve ratio (CRR) threshold for next one year, it said.

Value-added tax on commercial rent, electricity, gas and water bills and licence renewal fees can be withdrawn for next one year to support the smooth operations of MSMEs across the board, it said.

The government may waive all forms of advance tax and VAT for both import and local stages for products including food and essentials items, health, hygiene instruments, medical kits and export-oriented manufacturing industry for next one year, which would help businesses turn around to some extent.

Besides, the NBR may consider individual and corporate tax concession to support the victims.

The ADB predicted earlier that Bangladesh economy might contract by 1.1 per cent of gross domestic product with 8,94,930 job loss. Bangladesh has already experienced a disruption of supply chain of RMG industry, leather and pharmaceutical industry, SME, tourism and aviation, it added.

The geo-economic meltdown has also affected Bangladesh’s major export destinations like European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

In a bid to protect people and the economy from the adverse impact of coronavirus, the DCCI urged the government to bring together its global allies and partners for a coordinated endeavour.

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