Letter To the Editor
Extended deadline for disbursing stimulus packages
It is heartening to listen that Bangladesh Bank has extended the deadline for disbursing a Tk 20,000 crore stimulus package for cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSME) by another three months to June. The extension comes in response to a slow pace in the lending of loans from the package.
The central bank declared the package in April last year to help the businesses cope with the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Banks disbursed 72.31 per cent of the package as of March 31, according to data from the central bank. The stimulus scheme of a three-year tenure acts as a revolving fund, meaning banks would disburse money recovering those from clients. The loans will be provided at a 9 per cent interest rate. Of the interest rate, 4 per cent will be borne by the borrowers and 5 per cent by the government.
The tanneries, which have been facing the burden of default loans for years, will be allowed to enjoy the relaxed facility until June instead of the previous deadline of March. The decision has been taken as businesses of the tanneries might face another shock due to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. We hope that the latest decision of the government authorities will help small firms to recover financial losses.