Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced a Tk2,000 crore stimulus package for commercial banks as interest subsidy to ease the loan burden on businesses amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is her 19th stimulus package during the pandemic and a total of Tk 103,117 crore was allotted, which is 3.7 percent of the GDP.
Sheikh Hasina announced the package during her speech in a videoconference with the Ministry of Education to launch the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exam results of 2020 this morning.
"I do not know of any country in the world that has announced such a huge amount (of its GDP) as a stimulus package. Politics is for the people, the main aim of politics is to reduce the pain of the people," the premier said.
The PM said, earlier, the government decided to declare the two months (April and May) as zero interest months for borrowers. After a discussion with concerned authorities she announced this package.
Sheikh Hasina further said, "The total interest amount of the borrowers' in the last two months stands at Tk16,500 crore. Of this, the government will pay Tk2,000 crore as subsidies to all commercial banks, and the borrowers will pay the rest over the next 12 months."
"A total of 13.8 million borrowers will benefit from this facility," she added.
Terming the present situation as a crisis for the whole world, she asked everyone to have self-confidence.
"Self-confidence is the biggest thing. Whatever situation comes, we have to face it," she said.
The prime minister said the country has already faced a cyclone and high tide amid this coronavirus pandemic.
"We'll face all crises, including cyclones, with confidence and we'll work together as we're doing right now," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that the country will be able to overcome the coronavirus pandemic by working together. "That's the goal and that's the decision of the government," she added.
Regarding the relaxing of the shutdown, the prime minister said that everything was closed for a long time. "Other countries are reopening the wheels of their economy in phases," she pointed out.
She briefly described various stimulus packages and food and monetary assistance given by the government for the welfare of the people.