Industry Desk: The deadline to submit applications for soft loans from the government-announced Tk 5,000 crore stimulus package has been extended to April 26. Export-oriented factories will get this loan to provide wages to workers during the Covid-19 crisis.
The Bangladesh Bank issued letters to different trade associations, confirming the extension.
As per the previous instruction, 20 April was the last date for coronavirus-affected export-oriented industries to submit applications for the loans. 155 out of a total of 833 members of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) took a certificate from the association to apply for the loans, informed BKMEA First Vice President Mohammed Hatem.
BKMEA First Vice President Mohammed Hatem said, “Most of our member factories could not complete the opening of mobile banking accounts of their workers and employees.”
“Moreover, every factory is facing difficulties in preparing salary sheets for the last three months,” he added.
The government declared general holidays from March 26, and these were later extended to April 25.
On March 25, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared Tk5,000 crore incentives for the export sector to provide salaries to their workers and employees.
The government said it would be provided by the central bank with the money from its budget allocation to distribute to banks based on demand from affected industries.
The Bangladesh Bank will not charge any interest against the loans, however, commercial banks can take maximum 2 percent service charge for the lending.
The incentive will go directly to employees’ bank accounts, including mobile banking accounts. If any employee does not have an account, respective banks can open a new account for payments. Borrowing factories can pay three months salaries with the loan.
The loan repayment period is two years, including a six-month grace period – from July to December 2020. From January 2021 to June 2022, borrowers will have to pay the loan in 18 equal installments.
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