The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) has asked for equal facilities for all borrowers, large and small alike, in terms of availing loan rescheduling facilities.
The apex trade body has put forth the demand against the backdrop of the issuance of a circular by the Bangladesh Bank that has made big offers for big defaulters aiming to bring down classified loans.
The central bank has restructured its loan rescheduling policy by widening the repayment period by nearly five times and reducing down payments by four times to facilitate loan defaulters to keep their accounts regular.
As per the circular, large defaulters with a loan of Tk500 crore and above will now enjoy a maximum of 29 years to make repayments with rescheduling facilities for up to four times.
They will also be offered a mega discount in down payments for rescheduling their loans.
The FBCCI in a letter sent to Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder demanded that small borrowers be offered the same facilities.
The trade body called for a maximum tenure of eight years with a grace period in all cases of term loans, working capital, and demand loans.
At the same time, the minimum down payment rate for loan rescheduling, and restructuring is proposed to be set at 2.5% for all borrowers.
As per the central bank circular, term loans, working capital and demand loans can be rescheduled three times and the repayment period will be eight years in the first two instances, and on the next two occasions, it will be seven years and six years, respectively.
And defaulters are allowed to pay back their loans at 2.5% to 5% down payment.
The loan repayment tenure for defaulters of agri and micro loans has been set at a maximum of three years in the case of rescheduling for the first time, which goes down to 2.5 years on every latter occasion. And thus, they will get up to 10.5 years to repay loans through rescheduling, while large borrowers will get 29 years.
The FBCCI has asked for raising the loan repayment period for these defaulters to a maximum of eight years like that offered for large borrowers.
Mentioning that the loan classification facility has been conditionally extended till December 2022 in view of the Covid situation and the Ukraine crisis, the FBCCI letter mentions, however, adding that the conditions for availing of the facility are becoming very tough for the traders to comply with.
"Therefore, we have requested the Bangladesh Bank to accept 15% of instalments payable for CMSME and agriculture sector and 25% of instalments payable for industrial sector loans," the FBCCI says in its letter.
Meanwhile, a delegation from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) met the governor on Thursday.
Bangladesh Bank Spokesperson Sirajul Islam told TBS that the BGMEA leaders made a courtesy call on the central bank and that they did not place any demand on Thursday.