FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim on Wednesday urged the country’s banks to take quick steps to disburse the stimulus money declared by the government to stave off the impact of the coronavirus on the economy.
“The banks should play a proactive role by adopting easier ways to help the country’s cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises get their share from the package of Tk 20,000 crore announced by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he said.
Fahim made the statement at a discussion titled ‘Roadmap to Stimulus Loan Execution 20,000 crore and 30,000 crore’ at FBCCI’s Icon Tower in the city’s Motijheel area.
Chairmen and managing directors of various state-owned and private banks, former FBCCI presidents, FBCCI directors and economists participated in the programme.
Fahim stressed the need for engaging the FBCCI members -- all chambers and associations—to provide small shops, clinics and hospitals, women entrepreneurs and media houses with stimulus funds.
The boss of the apex business body requested the Association of the Bankers Bangladesh (ABB) to expedite the process as the coronavirus crisis has put various sectors under serious strains.
Fahim said the government-announced stimulus package was “targeted and focused” but now it was the responsibility of the banks to do the rest. “The banks must come forward to quickly execute the plans for stimulus package in a bid to help the national economy survive.
“The decision to provide food assistance to 4 crore people, 700 crore taka for the workers in the informal sector, 20,000 crore for the SME sector, 30,000 crore for the large sectors, 5,000 crore for the export-oriented sector, 5,000 crore for the agriculture sector is a brave one.” Now the banks should shoulder the responsibility in the interest of the national economy,” he said.
Welcoming the Bangladesh Bank’s various steps to resolve the liquidity crisis in the banking sector, Fahim said the central bank’s decisions have strengthened the base for the banks to disburse the stimulus money in a disciplined manner.
“For the Bangladesh Bank’s steps the banks’ liquidity is supposed to increase up to 46,000 crore and it is supposed to be 70,000 crore with Export Development Fund (EDF) while through the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) there should be an excess fund of 1 lac crore taka. Under the stimulus package, the facility for subsidy for interest and matching fund option would benefit the banks,” the FBCCI chief observed.
Fahim also said if the country’s burgeoning informal sector can survive through the crisis with the contribution from the state-owned and private banks this informal sector will be integrated into the formal sector one day.
“This will be a win-win situation, and the banks will also benefit enormously through this inclusion,” he said.
FBCCI’s former president and Member of Parliament Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said steps should be taken so that the entrepreneurs, especially the smaller ones, do not face troubles in getting stimulus money for documentation.
He proposed setting up of a “Help Desk” by the FBCCI to provide support to such small businesses.
Former FBCCI Presidents Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed, Mir Nasir Hossain, Abdul Matlub Ahmad, Janata Bank Chairman Jamal Uddin Ahmed and its Managing Director Abdus Salam Azad, Sonali Bank’s Managing Director Akhteruzzaman Prodhan, BRAC Bank’s Managing Director Selim R F Hossain, FBCCI’s Senior Vice President Muntakim Asharf, Vice President Muntakim Ashraf, Director Salahuddin Alamgir, President of Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association Jashim Uddin and Chairman of Policy Exchange Masrur Reaz, among others, joined the discussion.
Popular retail chain shop ‘Daily Shopping’ is giving special offer and discount on more than 100 grocery items during Ramadan.
The products include edible oil, milk, spices, juice, beverage, biscuit, noodles, toiletries and numerous protective items.
Daily Shopping is also providing home delivery from all of its outlets as people’s movement has been restricted to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Galib Farrokh Bakht, General Manager (operation), said, “We’re giving special offers and discounts for the sake of our customers. They can purchase by using debit and credit cards. We also have membership facility for the customers so that they can enjoy extra discount.”
He said they are giving special home delivery service considering the customers’ safety. The home delivery will be provided through local outlet of the Daily Shopping.
Customers will be able to order their necessary products between 6am and 5pm and they can be informed about the offer from Daily Shopping’s Facebook page.
“Customers will be able to purchase products by placing order through e-commerce site ‘Othoba.com’,” he said.
Palash Chandra Sarma Partho, Senior Brand Manager at Daily Shopping, said the customers will enjoy special discount on purchasing milk powder, edible oil, spices on the occasion of Ramadan. Buy one get one offer is also available for some selected products.
Daily Shopping has been operating 45 outlets in the capital including Badda, Banasree, Nikunja, Mirpur, Uttara, Mohammadpur, Dhanmondi, Shankar, Bashabo, Khilgaon and Modhubag areas.
The government has allowed e-commerce providers to deliver food items, books, electronic gadgets and dresses to customers' doorsteps adopting proper safety measures.
The Commerce Ministry issued a notification in this regard, saying the step was taken in a bid to make people’s lives easier during Ramadan.
“The kitchens of those restaurants who are in contracts with different e-commerce providers will be allowed to remain open from 6am to 10pm,” the notice says.
The e-commerce providers were asked to submit a list of the restaurants with whom they work to the deputy commissioners concerned.
Deliverymen, vehicles engaged in delivery and all those engaged in the process can conduct their normal activities, the notice adds.
But the authorities reaffirmed its previous statement not to allow taking food at restaurants.
The notice urged the E-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (ECAB) to provide its members with identity cards and necessary training over proper healthcare.
Meanwhile, ECAB General Secretary Abdul Wahed asked their members to collect necessary documents from them to run their businesses.
Bangladesh announced the closure of all educational institutes, offices, and supermarkets to impose a complete shutdown in the country in a bid to contain the mass transmission of coronavirus.
Earlier, the authorities permitted the online-based service providers to deliver essential items on a limited scale.
DAP Fertiliser Company Limited, operating under the Ministry of Industries, has exceeded its production targets for the fiscal 2019-20 (FY20).
The factory, situated at Rangadia in Chattogram, had set a production target of 60,000 metric tonnes in the current fiscal.
The factory has produced 64,000 MT DAP fertiliser as of May 4, said a press release of Industries Ministry on Tuesday.
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The production target of this factory was 40,000 MT in FY 2017-2018 and 50,000 MT in FY 2017-2018. Although the production target was achieved in these two years, the target was reduced to 35,000 MT in FY 2018-2019 due to mechanical faults in the process dryer of the factory.
In FY 2018-19, the factory produced 24,002 MT DAP fertiliser.
DAPFCL, under Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC), is the only DAP fertiliser manufacturing plant in the country.
Abdur Rahim, managing director of the factory, said, DAPFCL has achieved the production target about 70 days before ending of scheduled timeframe in the current year due to timely guidance from the Ministry of Industries and BCIC authorities, close supervision of factory management and dedicated efforts of workers, employees and officials.
At present, production is going on in full swing. All the workers and employees in the factory are working relentlessly to continue the production flow, said the MD.
DAP fertiliser is one of the main ingredients in agricultural production. It is highly effective in increasing the production of any type of crop including Rabi crop. At present, the demand of DAP fertiliser in the country is about 900,000 MT. Most of it is imported from abroad through BADC, an organisation under the Ministry of Agriculture.
President of the country’s apex trade organization FBCCI Sheikh Fazle Fahim on Monday said that they would remain involved in the working capital loan/investment disbursement process of the government-announced Tk 20,000 crore financial assistance package for cottage, micro, small and medium enterprise (CMSME) organisations.
He also said that the FBCCI (Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, in its rarely used full form) would always strive to revive the economy by providing all possible assistance in case of any problem, according to a press release.
On April 5, Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina declared a financial assistance package of Tk 20,000 crore on low-interest for working capital loan/investment facility through the banking system to retain the capacity of CMSME entrepreneurs affected by the coronavirus and to keep the manpower working.
In light of her announcement, FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim submitted a proposal to Bangladesh Bank to make the loan/investment disbursement process easier for the entrepreneurs of CMSME as well.
“Most of the CMSME entrepreneurs, entitled to have the current capital loan/investment facility, have minimal infrastructures and relationship with bankers than those of the others. As a result, if these entrepreneurs were selected upon reviewing their basic standards, financial statements and ICRRS, many would fail to meet required qualifications to avail the loans and investment benefits," he said.
Meanwhile, the FBCCI president said: "If the loan amount is not determined and the demand is not coordinated with it, we will not get desired results.”
The Prime Minister has already allocated Tk 70,000 crore as refinancing for the smooth implementation of loan/investment and other facilities under various financial assistance packages, announced so far, to keep economic activities uninterrupted during the Coronavirus pandemic, he added.
Fahim expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister and Finance Minister AHM Mostafa Kamal for the initiative.
The FBCCI proposal included that cottage, micro, small and medium enterprise (CMSME) organisations such as trade, factory, shop, dealer, retailer, distributor, pharmacy, restaurant, petrol pump, travel/tourism/resort, transport, fashion house, beauty parlour, women entrepreneur, saloon, small cottage and middle industry could avail the facility if recommended by the respective district chamber. Necessary recovery time will also be provided by the association.
He also urged easy access to credit for all media outlets.
Fahim called upon the individuals and organisations to inform FBCCI if any bank or financial institution does not provide proper assistance to them The FBCCI will also monitor the implementation of these guidelines.
Meanwhile, he said, a demand was also raised to facilitate media, newspapers, TV, trucks, cargo, launches, and backward exports, with the loan/investment facility on the basis of salary statements and as per the advice of the association concerned.
Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) believes the business community will particularly be benefited from the facility. The central bank took the initiative following the FBCCI's proposal regarding easy loan access by entrepreneurs in the CMSME sector, the press release added.
As per the instruction, separate help desks will be set up in each branch of the bank/financial institutions to assist the entrepreneurs so that information about financial aid packages can be found easily.