BB guideline on lending eases
Banks are allowed to provide loans without maintaining internal credit risk rating system (ICRRS) to the cottage, micro, small and medium enterprise (CMSME) sector under the Tk 200-billion stimulus package. The government has recently announced the bailout package for the sector with an intent to help the stakeholders overcome the Covid-19 fallout. The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has relaxed the guideline, allowing banks to disburse package loans on the basis of bank-customer relationship, according to a notification issued on Tuesday. All the scheduled banks are eligible to provide loans without following ICRRS only for the stimulus package to help such businesses resume quickly. Similar relaxation was given to the banks on May 10 for providing loans to large industries and services companies under the Tk 300-billion government package. Meanwhile, the central bank has formed a Tk 100-billion new refinance scheme to help banks implement the Tk 200-billion working capital package for CMSME. On April 05, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled a Tk 200-billion stimulus package for CMSME to cope with the impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Q4 incentives released for exporters
The government has released the fourth installment of cash incentives amounted to Tk 4.0 billion for disbursement among the exporters for the outgoing fiscal year. The money will be distributed among the exporters for April-June 2020, according to a notice issued by the ministry of finance on Monday. Of the amount, the jute and jute products subsector will get Tk 1.01 billion while other sectors will receive the remaining Tk 2.99 billion. The Tk 2.99 billion support included the special 1.0 per cent incentives for the readymade garment sector, said the notice. At present, cash incentives are provided against shipments of products under 37 categories, including one per cent additional special incentive for apparel products. Other categories include export-focused apparel manufacturing, frozen food and fish, leather goods, and agro-processing products.
BB lets foreign firms bring in emergency funds from abroad
The central bank has relaxed regulations for foreign firms operating in Bangladesh such that they can bring in short-term working capital from abroad to tide them over during the pandemic, which has choked off their cash flows. The move comes after Naoki Ito, the Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh, last month requested the central bank. The Japanese companies like the local ones have to keep paying salaries of their employees and bear other overhead costs according to local rules and regulations, Ito wrote in a letter to Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir on April 29. In response, the BB on May 3 issued a notice facilitating the foreign companies to bring in funding from aboard. The loans should be used to meet the actual needs for payment of three months’ wages and salaries to the staff regardless of their length of engagement in the manufacturing or services output activities. The BB decision to allow foreign firms to borrow from abroad under relaxed conditions will smooth out the flow of foreign direct investment into Bangladesh, said Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of the Policy Research Institute. But the parent companies of the borrowers should act as the guarantor of the loans.
LafargeHolcim contributes one day’s salary
The employees of LafargeHolcim Bangladesh Limited have contributed their one-day salary from the month of April to help the Covid-19 victims. The company has also decided to match the amount which is generated from the employees contribution. The whole idea is to collectively stand beside the communities across its operation and also to collaborate with the relevant stakeholders.
UCB, JBFH organise free telemedicine services
United Commercial Bank Limited (UCB) and Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital (JBFH) jointly organised free telemedicine services, said a statement. People in need of medical assistance can now easily get experienced consultant’s free suggestion and treatment through teleconference. There would be thirty consultants to provide support through teleconference. The service is available from 2pm – 4pm each day except Friday. To avail the service, interested persons have to contact 09610444555
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