Bangladesh Bank releases Tk 2,725.85cr for factory workers’ April salary

HM Murtuza | Published: 21:41, May 29,2020


A file photo shows workers sewing clothes at a readymade garment factory on the outskirts of Dhaka. The Bangladesh Bank has disbursed another Tk 725.85 crore in May in favour of the banks for payment of workers’ wages in export-oriented industries for the month of April. — New Age photo

The Bangladesh Bank has disbursed another Tk 725.85 crore in May in favour of the banks for payment of workers’ wages in export-oriented industries for the month of April.

BB executive director and spokesmen Md Serajul Islam told New Age recently that the central bank had released the amount based on the demands of the exportoriented industries.

Apart from the disbursement of Tk 725.85 crore in May, the central bank had disbursed Tk 2,000 crore by the end of April.

Workers’ wages of more than 1,800 factories were disbursed through 47 banks using the disbursed fund, Serajul mentioned.

As result of the Tk-2,725.85-crore disbursement just for April’s salaries, the government’s Tk 5,000-crore fund that was formed to pay the wages of workers employed in export-oriented industries for April, May and June is likely to become exhausted in two months.

Immediately after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March this year, the government announced a Tk 5,000-crore stimulus package for the export-oriented industries.

Under the scheme, the industries were allowed to get loans at a paltry 2 per cent service charge.

Although initially it was announced that the employees and workers would get full salary under the scheme, the decision was later revised under which workers who did not work during the month would get 60 per cent of their salaries while those who worked during the time would get the full amount.

Although the demand was for Tk 3,047 crore from 47 banks only for payment of April wages, the central bank released Tk 2,725.85 crore after getting the government sanction.

Considering the disbursement trend, the government-created Tk 5,000crore fund would not be sufficient to pay the salaries of the other two months.

The central bank has already informed the government about the demand situation, a BB official said.

The government would review the situation upon receiving the detail loan demands for the month of May, he said.

The official, however, said that the credit demand for the salary payment may fall in June as the government had announced to lift the lockdown conditionally from May 31 after two months.

For the payment of workers’ salaries, around 26 lakh mobile financial service accounts were created mostly through Bkash, Rocket and Nagad.

As per the guidelines, companies availing the loans under the package will have to pay back the sum within two years, or else they will be considered as loan defaulters.

The repayment tenure of the interest-free loan includes a grace period for six months from July to December this year.

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