The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) has urged the government to utilise state-owned commercial banks to disburse stimulus funds for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
DCCI President Shams Mahmud made the call at a discussion with Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on the ongoing Covid-19 situation and its adverse impact on the country's overall economy, a press release read.
At the event, Shams Mahmud thanked the prime minister and the finance minister for announcing a special incentive package to support the country's micro, small and medium entrepreneurs.
The DCCI president further said, "Despite the announcement of special financial incentives, it may not be easy for cottage and MSME sector traders to get loans from banks under the package announced by the government.
"As most of the cottage, SMEs, MSMEs, and cash transaction dependent businesses do not meet the loan requirements or do not have a good relationship with banks like the big businesses. They may have to face problems in getting the loan from the incentive fund."
"But, they are sufficiently compliant in doing business," he added.
"New MSMEs with business experience of a maximum of 2 years or less should be exempted from re-registration fees, gas, electricity and water bills, other banking charges and port charges related to imports and exports," Shams Mahmud urged the minister.
The DCCI president further said, "Under the MSMEs refinancing scheme for two years, a 'business recovery fund' can be provided to them as working capital at one percent interest."
He also suggested giving these enterprises VAT and tax exemptions or cash incentives, so that more MSME sector entrepreneurs become interested in the e-commerce business.
Shams Mahmud also requested the finance ministry to prepare a plan on gradually resuming some commercial activities in the country.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said, "The ministry has already adopted a policy to provide an inclusive and transparent financial incentive to people of all strata.
"We are in contact with various international development partners to strengthen the incentive package through borrowing at low interest rates. The government has already taken various steps and programmes with utmost transparency and accountability to ensure food security."