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Stimulus package for CMSMEs

BB asks banks, NBFIs to execute with top priority

Extends deadline until Oct 31

Siddique Islam | August 18, 2020 00:00:00

The central bank has asked the bank and non-bank lenders to properly implement the stimulus package for cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSMEs) by giving top priority - in order to help expedite recovery of the pandemic-hit economy.

The instruction was given in an online meeting with the top executives of 15 banks and four non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) on Monday, with Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Fazle Kabir in the chair, officials said.

The central bank also extended the deadline for execution of the stimulus package for CMSMEs by two months - from August 31 to October 31.

"We've extended the deadline in line with the stakeholders' requirements," a BB senior official told the FE after the meeting. On July 02, the central bank asked all banks to take effective measures for implementing the stimulus packages, including the one for CMSME sector, within August.

The banks were also asked to implement the lion's share of the stimulus packages within July and the remaining portion within August.

In the meeting, the BB governor advised the bankers to give emphasis on cottage, micro and small (CMS) enterprises to help create more employment opportunities across the country, according to the officials.

The central bank has already announced a Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS), amounting to Tk 20 billion, to expedite financing for the CMS enterprises.

The draft of the CGS operational manual has almost been finalised, another BB official said, adding that the CGS will come into effect by the end of this month.

The central banker expected that it will help expedite implementation of the package for CMSMEs.

The BB's latest moves came against the backdrop of slower progress in loan disbursement under the financial package for CMSMEs until July 30. The banks and NBFIs disbursed only Tk 15 billion of the Tk 200-billion stimulus package for the sector during the period.

The disbursed amount is just 7.50 per cent of the total financial support, offered to offset the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Loans amounting to Tk 27.50 billion were sanctioned for more than 8,000 CMSMEs during the period, the BB's latest data showed.

"We've been asked in the meeting to execute the stimulus package for CMSMEs by giving it topmost priority," Mominul Islam, chairman of the Bangladesh Leasing and Finance Companies Association (BLFCA), told the FE while relying to a query.

Mr. Islam, also managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of IPDC Finance Limited, said his NBFI has already taken necessary preparations to implement the stimulus package for CMSMEs properly within October 31.

As part of the preparations, IPDC Finance has already provided training to its branch-level officials concerned, he added.

"We're now working to implement the package for CMSMEs by October 31," Tariqul Islam Chowdhury, MD and CEO of South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce (SBAC) Bank Limited, told the FE.

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