Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday announced a new stimulus package to waive Tk 2,000 crore bank interest of the people affected badly by the nationwide shutdown enforced to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Today, we’re declaring a new incentive package which is the 19th. Under the package, the borrowers need not to repay Tk 2,000 crore interest of the credits which they took from the banks for doing business,’ she said.
Hasina added, ‘The government will provide the interest amounting to Tk 2,000 crore to the banks as a subsidy and it will directly benefit nearly 1.38 crore loan recipients.’
The premier made the announcement while formally publishing the SSC and other equivalent exam results through a videoconference from her official Ganabhaban residence in Dhaka.
She said the government earlier suspended the payment of interest of the loans for two months which the people took from the (commercial) banks for business purpose.
‘The total amount of that interest now stands at Tk 16,549 crore and of the money, the government will give Tk 2,000 crore to the [commercial] banks as a subsidy and the loan borrowers don’t need to pay it … we’re freeing them from it (interest),’ she said.
In this connection, Hasina said the borrowers would pay the rest of the interest in 12-month instalments.
‘The government has made this arrangement for the benefit of the people as their trade and commerce remained halted for over two months due to coronavirus outbreak,’ she said.
The premier said with the announcement of this new incentive package of Tk 2,000 crore, the total amount of 19 stimulus packages had stood at Tk 1,03,117 crore (equivalent to $ 12.13 billion) which is 3.7 per cent of total GDP.
‘I don’t know whether any other country of the world gave such facilities. But we’re giving,’ she said.
The prime minister said the government has taken many steps to mitigate the plight of the people affected due to COVID-19 outbreak. ‘Through it (pandemic) will put pressure on the national budget, to be placed on June 11, we’ve completed the work on framing the budget,’ she said.
Regarding relaxation of the nationwide shutdown, the prime minister said everything was closed for a long time, but a country could not run in such a way. ‘The other countries of the world have been opening everything including their economy and we’re going to adopt that policy.’
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