Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

BB needs to mobilize Tk 24,000cr to economy due to COVID-19: MCCI

Published 8:53 pm | April 02, 2020

dainik somoy sangbad

Online desk : The Bangladesh Bank will need to act fast and mobilize around Taka 16,000 crore to Taka 24,000 crore initially to the country’s economy to face the impact of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) which is now sweeping over the world.

Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce of Industry (MCCI) in consultation with 10 other business bodies made the demand when a detailed sets of proposals were placed before Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, concerned Ministries and the other policy makers on March 24 on behalf of the business community.

The MCCI made the proposals in consultation with the Bangladesh Employers Federation (BEF), BGMEA, BKMEA, Tea Association of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA), Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA), BASIS, Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association (BFFA), Leather Goods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) and Bangladesh Agro Processors Association (BAPA).

The Metropolitan Chamber said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already taken some steps in light of the suggestions from the business community and hopefully the government would also consider awarding a stimulus package for the local industries like the export-oriented industries.

They also proposed that the Bangladesh Bank should sit separately with the micro enterprises, small traders, medium traders, large-scale traders as well as with the banks, financial institutions, chambers, and other stakeholders for ensuring planned stimulus.

The financial, non-financial and policy-support proposals of the MCCI also include suspending the increased utility prices as well as not disconnecting the utility services for non-payment of those during this crisis period, making withheld the advance income tax and VAT during this period, extending the timeframe of the classified loans till December this year, suspending the repayment of Bank interests and accrual for this crisis period.

The proposals also include providing food assistance on weekly basis as subsidy to the family members of around 1,50,000 tea workers, increasing the amount and coverage of various allowances like old-age, widow and maternal allowance, identifying the job-less day labourers and thus provide them with soaps, food and medicines by the Disaster Management and Social Security Divisions and the concerned NGOs.

The MCCI also urged the concerned government agencies and bodies to take due steps to destroy the breeding grounds of Aedes mosquitoes since it is the high time for possible dengue spread.

The trade body mentioned that the major trade partners of Bangladesh like China, Italy, Japan, India, USA, Saudi Arabia, UK and Malaysia are being affected due to the COVID-19 and this deadly virus might slow down the global GDP growth by 1 percent to 2.5 percent.

It said the government would have to increase the liquidity flow to the country’s economy to face this crisis and thus minimize the impact of the COVID-19 as according to the chamber’s estimation around Taka 30,000 crore is needed initially for three months (March, April, May, 2020) against various sectors to face this crisis.

Besides, they also suggested for forming a task force in participation with the economists, business leaders, high bank officials, social scientists and other experts to give necessary suggestions to the government to assess the damages caused by this deadly virus.

The MCCI said the government has sufficient scope to allocate necessary funds through reallocation in the budget, setting the priorities in government expenditure, re procuring the treasury bills, and taking zero interest or low-interest loans from the ADB, World Bank, IMF and other lending agencies.

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