The e-commerce sector is facing a huge financial loss of Tk666 crore – per month – for not being able to run their activities due to Covid-19, the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) said on Wednesday.
''About 90 percent of e-commerce companies are unable to operate their business due to the ongoing shutdown enforced to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus,'' the organisation said at a joint online press conference organised by the commerce ministry and e-CAB.
Presenting a report, Finance Secretary of e-CAB Abdul Haque Anu said the size of the country's e-commerce market is Tk8,000 crore and its contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) is 0.2 percent.
He further said the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh has 1,200 members and 1.25 lakh workers involved in the sector. Of these, 26 percent are women and 74 percent are men.
Then, e-Cab President Shomi Kaiser demanded corporate tax be waived for e-commerce for at least the next few years.
''Even if we are not given incentives, we want bank loans with a grace period of one year at two percent interest during the Covid-19 period," she stated.
The e-Cab President said there are opportunities for five lakh jobs in the e-commerce sector. About 90 percent of e-commerce companies have not been able to operate during the Covid-19 crisis.
Even those who have worked on a limited scale have not done business, instead, they have done humanitarian work, she added.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said, ''There is no alternative to delivering products to the people via e-commerce to prevent the outbreak of Covid-19. We will cooperate in solving various problems of e-commerce organisations.''
The minister called on those involved in e-commerce to conduct business with integrity and make sure that no buyer is cheated.
Every day 80,000 families in the country received services from e-commerce. Due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, only 10 to 15 percent of e-commerce companies are operating.
e-CAB Advisor and lawmaker Nahim Razzaq, Commerce Secretary Dr Mohammad Zafar Uddin and FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim were present at the press conference.