Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun on Monday directed officials concerned to prepare an effective set of recommendations to implement the stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to recover losses caused by Covid-19.
He suggested forming a committee headed by an additional secretary and comprising representatives from the commerce ministry, the BSCIC, SME Foundation, FBCCI, BCI, he National Association of Small and Cottage Industries of Bangladesh (NASCIB) and Bangladesh Light-Engineering Industry Owners' Association.
"Right away, we should prepare effective policies and recommendations to help us find out the way for our micro, cottage, small and medium industries to turn around during the post-coronavirus period," the minister said.
He issued the directives during a teleconference with the ministry officials and staff about what they should do at the moment to curb the economic impact of the coronavirus, according to a press release.
Humayun asked the officials to prepare a list of affected cottage, small and medium industries in the grassroots level.
The minister also asked them to form monitoring committees in the district and upazila levels to avoid any misuse of the stimulus fund and to ensure that the benefits reach the truly affected people.
At that time, Industries Secretary Md Abdul Halim informed the minister that they had already taken recommendations from the BSCIC, SME Foundation, NASCIB and the Bangladesh Light-Engineering Industry Owners' Association so that business owners receive the Tk20,000-crore working capital properly and easily.
Based on those recommendations, ministry officials have already made a proposal, he said, adding that it will be sent to the Bangladesh Bank, the Financial Institution Department and the Finance Department after scrutinising it in light of the minister's directives.
He also told the minister that they have informed the export-oriented industries about various guidelines and circulars of the central bank to implement the already announced Tk5,000-crore incentive package as re-financing loans at 2 percent interest rate.
The industries secretary further said that a letter has been sent to the Finance Department and the Bangladesh Bank on April 8 to give Tk90 crore in loans to five industries as per a proposal by the Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation.
In the audio message, Industries Minister Humayun drew attention of the SME Foundation, asking it to take appropriate initiatives so that SME entrepreneurs, in the present scenario, can sell their products through e-commerce.
He also directed the BSCIC officials to continue production of personal protective equipment, sanitisers, masks and pharmaceuticals, medical oxygen and saline packets in its estates to help the country tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
The minister further instructed the ministry officials to follow the 31-point directives of the prime minister in taking necessary steps to keep the manufacturing industries operating in the public-private sector.
He said the Covid-19 outbreak has jeopardised not the economy of Bangladesh alone but that of the entire world. It should be dealt with courage, patience and professionalism.
He concluded saying that the ministry will award the officers and employees who are leading the country's fight against the coronavirus situation.