The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday urged the government to create a three-year long emergency fund at 1 per cent interest for micro, small and medium enterprises for payment of salaries to workers amid the coronavirus fallout.
The DCCI in a statement said that the coronavirus pandemic had hit MSMEs across all sectors of the economy and many of the enterprises had been in distress due to limited trade activities and shortage of funds to keep business operations running and pay employee and worker salaries which had led to loss of jobs.
In a bid to protect the local MSMEs from the negative impacts of the coronavirus, the government should come forward with some short and mid-term fiscal and non-fiscal recovery policy plans, the chamber said.
The trade body proposed that loans at 1 per cent interest should be made available for MSMEs with turnovers of Tk 1 crore and at 2 per cent for MSMEs with turnovers of Tk 2 crore.
‘Factories located in the BSCIC industrial parks across the country also need to be brought under this emergency fund for paying salaries and labour wages. The MSMEs should be allowed one-year grace period to pay back this loan,’ DCCI said in its statement.
The chamber also proposed that the interest on bank loans should be waived for the affected MSMEs for one year while funding and easy access to finance should be ensured for the enterprises.
The trade body proposed that the existing re-financing scheme should be converted into a pre-financing scheme at low interest rate and collateral requirements for the MSMEs should be relaxed.
The informal sector is the worst victim of the current onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic. Workers engaged in the informal sector are most vulnerable to job loss. Considering this, job-loss victims should be brought under a social safety net programme of the government,’ the trade body said.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Trade & Commerce