The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) has set a group of proposals in a bid to protect the people and economy from the adverse impact of coronavirus, which has already triggered the fear of a global recession.
The DCCI requests the Bangladesh Bank to create an emergency fund with one percent interest using foreign exchange reserves to support the financially-stressed businesses for paying salary of their workforce, read a press release issued on Tuesday.
In addition, the Bangladesh Bank can waive bank interest of the affected export-oriented manufacturing sectors for the next one year.
Alongside, other promising export sectors can be brought under the scope of the Earliest Deadline First scheme.
The Bangladesh Bank can also consider extension of repayment period for the worst-affected businesses.
For the liquidity in the banking sector, the central bank may relax the Cash Reserve Ratio threshold for the next one year.
The DCCI recommends creating a low-cost financing facility for the micro, small and medium enterprises, which can be linked with the existing re-financing scheme of the central bank.
To support smooth operations of micro, small and medium enterprises across the board, VAT on commercial rent; electricity, gas and water bills; and licence renewal fees can be withdrawn for the next one year.
The DCCI also feels, as a fiscal burden reduction move of the private sector, the government may waive all forms of AT and VAT for both import and local stages – including food and essential items, health, hygiene instruments, medical kits and export-oriented manufacturing industry – for the next one year which will help businesses to turn around to some extent.
The National Board of Revenue may consider individual and corporate tax concessions to support the victims.
Moreover, the DCCI also urges the government to bring together its global allies and partnership in a coordinated endeavour.
It feels that the government may approach emergency financing facilities of the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank as an alternative financing stream against low internal revenue trend.
Besides, the government may negotiate with international development partners seeking interest waiver of the debt payment for the next one year.
The DCCI also feels for greater socioeconomic balance, the social safety net can be expanded encompassing all vulnerable and marginalised people, especially daily labourers, job loss victims and the informal micro and small businesses, as this informal sector is the key actor of the local small and medium enterprise industry supply chain process.
However, the DCCI hails all the decisions of the government on the economy so far.