Rentals for commercial spaces must come down
Mamun Rashid, Managing Partner, PwC Bangladesh
Cost of rent is huge in business. Commercial spaces in Dhaka are more expensive than in Mumbai, India's financial capital.
High rental adds to the cost of businesses and makes products and services pricier at consumer level, therefore, rent must come down. Cutting expenses for office space will mean a significant cost reduction now and afterwards.
As the pandemic looks prolonged, commercial rentals in posh areas show signs of decline. Landlords, who depend solely on rents, are under pressure for the first time now. In some cases, the asking rate has come down to Tk150 per square-feet from Tk220 in some Gulshan commercial buildings.
Some advisory service agency may be assigned to settle rental disputes
Dr Sajjad Zohir, Executive Director, Economic Research Group
Some kind of advisory service agency may be designated to play an intermediary role in dealing with the rental disputes emerging out of the pandemic. It can be a short-term measure to facilitate property owners and tenants to amicably settle rental issues.
Setting criteria for commercial space and enforcing it strictly is a long-term measure which is less likely to be effective in Bangladesh.
Stimulus package must be disbursed smoothly and early
Dr Monzur Hossain, Senior Research Fellow, BIDS
Rent is one of the major costs for businesses. Accumulated rent for two months or more will be a burden for businesses which were closed during the shutdown period.
The stimulus package the government announced for the pandemic-hit businesses must be disbursed smoothly and without delay. This will give businesses, small and medium ones in particular, some respite.
Otherwise many such businesses will turn sick. They will close their shops.