Export-oriented companies will be able to receive loans, at 2 percent interest, from another Tk2,700 crore allocated to pay the wages of their workers.
The Bangladesh Bank has allowed banks to disburse the loans to the exporting firms from the stimulus package of Tk30,000 crore – as the Tk5,000 crore fund, which was fully dedicated to them, could not meet the demand of the sector.
Exporting firms will be able to avail the loan at a rate of two percent interest and the government will provide seven percent interest as a subsidy – so, the bank's lending rate will be nine percent.
On March 26 this year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced a stimulus package of Tk5,000 crore to pay the wages of workers at export-oriented factories impacted by the fallout of Covid-19. Of the fund, exporting firms can pay workers for three months – April, May and June.
To channel the government funds, banks could charge exporting firms a maximum of two percent as a service charge.
Seeking anonymity, a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank told The Business Standard, "Paying wages for two months, the Tk5,000 crore fund ran out. Banks informed the central bank that there was demand for another Tk2700 crore to pay the wages of the exporting firms."
"So, the central bank instructed banks to disburse the loan from the stimulus package of Tk30,000 crore for large industries and service sectors."
On June 28 this year, IFIC Banks received a letter from the central bank approving the lender to disburse a Tk90 crore loan to the exporting companies to pay June's wages from the Tk30,000 crore fund.
The loans were directly disbursed to workers' mobile banking accounts, and to make this happen, around 30 lakh apparel workers opened accounts over two months.
The central bank also instructed another 31 banks to disburse loans to the export sector companies to pay wages and allowances from the stimulus fund of TK30,000 crore.
Thus, now the stimulus package for large industries and service sectors has decreased to Tk27,300 crore and the stimulus fund to pay the wages of exporting firms has increased to Tk7,700 crore, the official of the central bank said.