Paying wages to workers of apparel sector from the prime minister's declared stimulus package has started.
The workers of 63 garment and textile factories were paid their wages for the month of April through their mobile financial services (MFS) accounts on Sunday, according to industrial police.
Of the factories, 47 are Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) members, seven are Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) members and nine are Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) members.
BKMEA's first vice president Mohamad Hatem said, "The salary disbursement has started. The factories, which are getting the fund from the package, may be able to pay salaries to the workers for the month of April within a week."
However, he said a number of factories may not get the fund due to the non-cooperation of some commercial banks.
According to BGMEA and BKMEA sources, about 400 garment factories are facing challenges in getting loans from the stimulus package.
According to the apparel exporters, 2,132 garment factories have applied for Tk3,343 crore from the stimulus package.
Of those, 1,615 are BGMEA members, which have applied for Tk2,614 crore, and 517 are BKMEA members, which have applied for Tk729 crore.
There are a total of 2,274 members of BGMEA while BKMEA has 833 members.
About 1,000 garment factories did not have the eligibility for applying for the loans.
However, workers of 125 garment and textile factories were yet to get their wages for March, according to industrial police.
Of those, 68 are BGMEA members, 47 are BKMEA members and 10 are BTMA member factories.
The prime minister has declared Tk5000 crore stimulus package to pay workers of export oriented industries.
The package includes three months' salaries (April, May and June) with two per cent service charge, according to the Bangladesh Bank circular issued on April 2.
The factory owners have to repay the loans within next two years.