Industries in the export processing zones (EPZs), economic zones and hi-tech parks can now get loans from the government's stimulus package in the local currency taka.
According to law, Type-A industries in these zones get loans from banks in foregn currencies. But the stimulus package loans are being disbursed in taka, which has so far prevented banks from giving stimulus loans to these companies.
To remove this complexity, the Bangladesh Bank has approved giving loans to these companies in taka from the stimulus package.
A circular of the central bank's Foreign Exchange Policy Department issued on Wednesday said all Type-A, Type-B and Type-C industries will be allowed to get loans in taka from the stimulus package.
"Type-A and Type-B industries operating in different zones may access finance in taka from concerned stimulus packages," it said.
"Likewise, Type-C industries will be eligible for financing in taka from stimulus packages as admissible to such industries outside zone areas," it added.
The government announced a Tk30,000 crore stimulus package last year to help the industries cope with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Later it was increased to Tk33,000 crore. Then it was further increased by Tk7,000 crore to Tk40,000 crore.
The central bank's Banking Regulation and Policy Department had issued a circular in this regard on 29 October last year.
According to that circular, A, B and C type industries in the EPZs, EZs and hi-tech parks will get loan facilities as working capitals from the additional Tk7,000 crore in the stimulus package.
However, the circular did not mention the legal impediment for the institutions to taking loans in taka. The central bank removed that obstacle on Wednesday.
The interest rate on the loan from the stimulus package will be 9%. Of this, the government will give half of the interest or 4.5% as subsidy, while the business organisations will have to pay the remaining 4.5%.