PM approves two fresh stimulus packages to balance COVID-19 shock

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Dhaka | Published: 17:17, Jan 17,2021


Prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

The government of Bangladesh approved two more stimulus packages worth Tk 2,700 crore to infuse dynamism into cottage, micro and medium industry to offset COVID-19 shock, improve rural marginal people’s livelihood and expand social safety nets for extreme poor aged-people and widows.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina had approved these two stimulus packages while implementation of the packages would start shortly, said a finance ministry press release on Sunday.

The release said with the addition of two latest packages, the total number of stimulus packages now stood at 23 with an overall outlay of Tk 1,24,053 crore which is also 4.44 per cent of the GDP.

The size of the freshly approved first stimulus package is Tk 1,500 crore and out of this amount, Tk 300 crore will be given to the SME Foundation for expanding its operations meant for the cottage and SMEs alongside facilitating the female entrepreneurs.

Besides, Tk 100 crore will be provided to BSCIC, Tk 50 crore to Joyeeta Foundation, Tk 50 crore to the NGO Foundation to undertake various programmes to improve the livelihood of marginal people, Tk 300 crore to Social Development Foundation, Tk 300 crore to Palli Daridro Bimochon Foundation, Tk 100 crore to Small Farmer Development Foundation, and Tk 300 crore to Bangladesh Rural Development Board.

The size of the fresh 2nd stimulus package is Tk 1,200 crore and it will be spent for bringing the poor people, widows and husband abandoned women of some 150 upazilas under the government allowances in the next fiscal year.

The Finance Division has recently organised three view-exchange meetings on the overall aspects of stimulus packages and economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19.

These meetings suggested for expanding the coverage of credit through the various government and semi government agencies related to cottage, SMEs, alongside the banking system to infuse more dynamism in the rural economy to deal with the COVID-19 situation.

Besides, the participants in the meeting also advocated for taking more steps for developing women entrepreneurship, improving the livelihood of the marginal people in the rural areas to further alleviate poverty and thus expanding the social safety nets for the extreme poor families.

High government officials, business leaders, representatives from the banks, financial institutions, development partners and agencies, research organisations, stakeholders of various sectors and media personnel attended those meetings.

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