Tk 5000cr to be given as loan, not as donation: Tipu Munshi
Published : Thursday, 2 April, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 143
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Wednesday said the government had not issued any directives to shut down garment factories.
The owners can operate their factories following the health guidelines issued by the government, if they want.
The minister also informed that the garment owners will not be given any donation. Instead, they will be given soft loan only on two per cent interest.
He made the remark while talking to reporters after an inter-ministerial meeting over Coronavirus impact on the country's economy at the ministry's conference room on Wednesday.
Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam, Prime Minister's Principal Secretary Dr. Ahmed Kaiqaus, Bangladesh Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed, Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir, Finance Secretary Abdur Rouf Talukder, Commerce Secretary Dr Zafor Ahmed, FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporter Association (BGMEA) Rubana Haq and other business leaders were present at the meeting.
Prime Minister has recently given announcement of Tk5, 000 crore fund for the export sector.
When asked about how businessmen will get benefits from the fund, Tipu Munshi said the garment owners will be given loan on two percent interest. They will not be given any donation.
In reply to another question, he said they had discussed the problems and facilities for the businessmen at the meeting. Necessary decisions will be taken after analyzing the issues.
The minister said the garment industry owners will get the loan on two percent interest as the government declared Tk5,000 crore stimulus package for the export-oriented industries.
"The government has not given any directives to keep the garment factories closed. If the factory owners want, they can run their factories following proper health guidelines," he added.
The Minister also said, "If they want they can stop their factories. Those, who have works or orders, can remain their factories open if they want. There is no barrier from the government for those who want to run. But, they have to follow the health rules of they want to run their factories."
After the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said, "The holiday has been declared to stay at home, not to move around."
"The disease is not just a clinical or medical one, it's a communicative disease. It's now a community issue. If people don't cooperate, it cannot be successful in any way. Therefore, it's the responsibility of people for staying at home for a certain period."
About Tk5,000 crore fund he said, "It's not grant, it is loan. The loan will have to be repaid within a certain period after the crisis is over."
Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed assured of ensuring deployment of adequate army members to prevent spreading of novel Coronavirus.
Army personnel will be deployed as much as needed to counter the Coronavirus pandemic but there is no need to create unnecessary panic, said the Army Chief.
General Aziz said, "The army is acting on the instruction of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister compared the battle against Coronavirus with a war. We are soldiers; we are always ready to fight. We are ready to help everyone."
To contain spreading the Coronavirus, the armed forces took to the streets on March 24 to help the civil administration in ensuring social distancing and raising awareness.
They will remain in the field until further instructions, he added.