The government should prepare sector and region-specific protocols, fully complying with health and safety standards, to resume economic activities in the country after the Covid-19 pandemic, said experts at a panel discussion.
Farmers should be given loans at zero percent interest, instead of the already declared 5 percent, to recover the losses they have been counting due to the crisis, they added.
And the government should increase purchase of food grains from farmers while mechanisation of agriculture is highly important, the discussants said at a forum of the South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (Sanem) on Saturday.
On the fourth episode of the Sanem Netizen Forum on the Covid-19 Pandemic, the discussants placed a set of 13 suggestions before the government to recover from the socio-economic losses due to the coronavirus.
Referring to the necessity of increasing funds for the health sector, they proposed a 4percent GDP allocation for the sector.
They also said possible impacts of Covid-19 on Indian agriculture will affect Bangladesh. So, the government should assess such effects beforehand.
The government should take measures to decrease oil prices in line with the global market so that lower and lower-middle income groups can be benefited from it, said the speakers.
They further said providing opportunity of whitening black money might be useful in financing the stimulus package. But it must be noted that repeated chances of whitening may increase black money accumulation. Therefore, strengthening the National Board of Revenue is important.
Policies should specifically address workers in newly emerging gig economy, who are hit hard by the current lockdown.
For the government to reach and assist the marginalised people, technology must be utilised to the fullest.
The speakers also said experts need to immediately start planning for education programmes in all levels. Difficulties for students in rural areas must be addressed.
The programme was moderated by Dr Selim Raihan, the executive director of Sanem.
Referring to an ongoing Sanem estimate on socio-economic costs of the pandemic, he said Bangladesh may go back to its earlier days of poverty.
The final results of the estimate are yet to come out, but it is clear that Bangladesh's decade-long achievements in the poverty scenario will be overturned by the pandemic, he said.
Inequality will also rise along with an imminent global food crisis, added Raihan, who is also a professor of Economics at the Dhaka University.
He urged the government to firstly explore other means for financing the stimulus package and consider printing taka as the last option as it might create a challenge with the current institutional weaknesses in the banking system.
The Sanem panel included Dr Sayema Haque Bidisha, Sanem's research director and professor of Economics at Dhaka University and, and Mahtab Uddin, research fellow at Sanem and a lecturer of Economics at Dhaka University.