Participants in a webinar on Monday urged the government to make a central dynamic database for Cottage, micro, small, and medium sized enterprises (CMSMEs) with the support of advanced software and mobile app to bring them under an umbrella.
The suggestion came up at the virtual meeting jointly organized by Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) and International Trade Centre (ITC).
Ferdaus Ara Begum, CEO of BUILD said e-Commerce businesses face challenges in obtaining trade license. In this case, formal registration with chambers and associations can be treated as alternative to trade license.
“As many of the CMSMEs are currently outside the banking network and operating their business informally, a central dynamic database should be created for Cottage, micro, small, and medium sized enterprises (CMSMEs) with the support of advanced software and mobile app, she also said.
Delivering the keynote presentation, she appreciated Bangladesh Bank (BB)’s initiative of extending the deadline of BDT 2,000 crore stimulus packages for CMSMEs till December 31, 2020.
Ferdaus stressed that as the COVID-19 situation is still precarious, BB could consider extending the deadline further. Detailed implementation statuses of different packages should be officially published by Bangladesh Bank with disaggregated data.
“In order to align with global practice, MSME term is more suitable than CMSME, and cottage industry could be integrated with micro industry considering the similarity of these two categories,’ she added.
Syed Abdul Momen, Head of SME, BRAC Bank Limited said BRAC Bank has already disbursed 1,000 crore of the stimulus package out of the targeted amount of 1,100 crore.
‘The threshold for trading sector could be further increased up to 45% as a huge number of trading businesses are consolidated in cottage and micro sector,” he added.
Momen added in terms of CMSME definition, he agreed with BUILD proposal that the nature of business of cottage, micro and small industry are almost same and together these industries need different treatment compared to medium and large industries. These three categories could be brought under same policy while medium industries could be tagged with large industry.
He hailed Bangladesh Bank for introducing Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) amid COVID-19 crisis. However, he observed that there are few gaps in the CGS, which need to be addressed to ensure its effectiveness.
Husne Ara Shikha, General Manager, SME & Special Programs Department, Bangladesh Bank said the disbursed amount of BDT 20,000 crore stimulus package is BDT 9,060 crore which is 48% of total amount.
Husne Ara laid emphasis on creating awareness to facilitate women entrepreneurs on access to finance with the support of chambers, business associations and think tanks.
She urged the Industries ministry and City Corporations to reform policies in favor of allowing e-commerce businesses availing CMSME funds without conventional trade license. “In this case, an alternative methodology or policy for trade license can be formulated. BB appreciated the concept of escrow finance for e-commerce and f-commerce.”
Md Salim Ullah, Senior Assistant Secretary at the Industries ministry said all of the recommendations would be considered carefully and would be included in the policy, including the issue of definition of CMSMEs.
Suman Saha, AGM of SME Foundation, Joynal Abedin, secretary of DCCI, Ali Sabet, Team Leader of PRISM, Tanvir Ahmed, Country Coordinator of ITC and Muhammad Abdul WahedTomal, General Secretary of e-CAB also spoke there.