Stimulus Package

MCCI, BEF seek transparent execution mechanism

Staff Correspondent | Published: 21:20, Apr 06,2020


The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and The Bangladesh Employers Federation urged policymakers to create a transparent mechanism free of red-tape with specific action programmes to implement the announced stimulus package.

The Bangladesh Bank should also expeditiously prescribe efficient modalities for banks to reduce the time for evaluation of applications and disbursement of credits under the package.

Targeted task forces should be put in place to monitor that the support is reaching the targeted persons, said a statement signed by MCCI president Nihad Kabir and BEF president Kamran T Rahman.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday announced the package worth Tk 72,750 crore to save businesses and livelihoods affected by the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

MCCI and BEF, in a joint statement issued on Sunday evening, appreciated the package and termed it very timely and a bold response to stimulate the economy and to minimise the possible devastating impacts of the pandemic on the economy.

Under the package, creation of a Tk 30,000-crore fund for large industries and Tk 20,000-crore fund for small and medium industries at 4.5 per cent and 4 per cent interest rates respectively are extremely commendable steps, it said.

The commercials banks will also be benefited as the remaining 4.5 per cent and 5 per cent interests out of the total 9 per cent will be compensated from the government exchequer.

The major task lies ahead in promptly and efficiently implementing these policies, the organisations said.

Swift disbursement of working capital and salary support will be required to reignite the economy and to keep it moving at the pace required, the statement said.

The trade bodies also recommended that there should be a public-private task force to evaluate and monitor the credit management system based on bank‑client relationship.

It also said that the government should take a bold step in boosting the supply of money in the economy without fearing for increase in inflation and budget deficit as it was historically seen that in times of recessionary crisis economies around the globe succeeded to minimise the effects by taking such measures.

‘Our pre-occupation with containing inflation and budget deficits needs to be temporarily put aside if we are to bring back demand and economic activity to anywhere near normal levels,’ it said.

The government may also consider other innovative approaches, including making special allocation, for boosting the local economy and reinvigoration of micro and small businesses which have already wound up during the crisis or which will face an almost complete loss of the trade during the Bangla Noboborsho and Eid, during which 50 to 90 per cent of their yearly demand arises.

Buoyant domestic consumer spending has been a mainstay of our growth and the country must make boosting the local consumer a priority.

Judicious assessment will have to be made while identifying the actual sufferers who lost their means to survive like hawkers, rickshaw-pullers, vegetable vendors, dressmakers, small telephone and other repair shops, daily workers, etc. 

The trade bodies also applauded the programmes set out by the prime minister for the most disadvantaged people in society who need immediate support, including cash support, distribution of rice at Tk 10 per kg, construction of shelter for homeless people and other such social safety measures.

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