Letter To the Editor
Stimulus packages hardly reach female entrepreneurs
To tackle Covid-induced shocks, the government allocated a stimulus package worth Tk 20,000 crore for cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises. A minimum of five percent of the allocation, or Tk 1,000 crore, is reserved for women. Another stimulus package involving Tk 1,500 crore was announced this January for such enterprises. Under these stimulus packages, female entrepreneurs could avail loans at a subsidised interest rate of four per cent.
Unfortunately, women do not get the benefit of these stimulus packages properly. A recent Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) study found nearly 59 per cent of female entrepreneurs surveyed were unaware of the stimulus packages for cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises. Only seven percent of those surveyed said they had applied for loans under the stimulus package. Lack of information regarding where to go, who to ask, what to do, and how to apply for these much-needed loans is one of the reasons. The lengthy process and worries about repayment were also reasons for not applying for loans.
Under these circumstances, if the declared packages do not reach to the targeted women they will face hardship. Authority responsible must take initiatives on the issue.