The Bangladesh Bank today made it clear that 100 percent Bangladeshi-owned industries located in the export processing zones, economic zones and high-tech parks can also avail subsidised loans under the government-announced TK5,000 stimulus package to pay wages to their workers.
These business entities were in a state of confusion with regard to getting access to the incentive as the central bank initially mentioned that only export-oriented companies would get loans from the fund.
The Bangladesh Bank in a circular issued on Wednesday said, "Though the Bangladesh Bank initially mentioned that the fund could be used only for paying salaries and allowances to workers and labourers, workers and labourers would be determined under the definition outlined in the Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006."
"Any sector which has no wage board endorsed schedule of employees will have to take endorsement on the employees' list from the trade body that represents the sector concerned," the circular added.
As part of the government's effort to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus on the country's economy, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on March 25 announced the Tk5,000 crore stimulus package to help export-oriented industries to pay wages to their workers.
As per the central bank's guidelines, the export-oriented industries will have to pay the loans taken under the package within two years, or else they will be considered defaulters.
The interest-free loans will carry a two per cent service charge and will have a repayment period of two years, including a six-month grace period from July to December this year.
Factories which were exporting at least 80 per cent of their products were declared eligible for the loans.
Active factories which have paid salaries and wages to their workers for the months from December to February will also be considered eligible for the credit facility.