Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) has proposed utilising state-owned commercial banks (SOBs) to disburse stimulus funds particularly for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The DCCI also proposed to Finance Ministry to work out a plan for a considered gradual reopening of different business sectors.
The DCCI leaders had a discussion with Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on the ongoing economic situation in the country due to coronavirus pandemic.
DCCI President Shams Mahmud appreciated the proactive steps taken by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Finance Ministry announcing the stimulus packages, especially for MSMEs.
Although measures are being announced, Shams Mahmud mentioned, cottage, MSMEs may face hurdles in getting required access to finance from banks under the packages already announced.
Most of the cottage, SMEs, MSMEs and cash-transaction-based traders may be deprived of getting stimulus funds from the banks because of the requirement of having loans and for lack of good relation with the banks which large businesses always maintain but they are compliant in doing businesses, said the chamber body on Wednesday.
The DCCI said an external international financial organisation needs to be pursued to bring in low-cost funds to inject into the stimulus packages.
The discussion between the Finance Minister and the DCCI also covered the issues of food security for vulnerable groups and financial assistance for the workers in informal sectors.
New MSMEs with an operational time of maximum two years should be waived business license renewal fees, utility bills, other charges-related to bank and import-export related port charges.
They also need to be offered business recovery fund as working capital under re-financing schemes for two years with 1 percent interest rate, according to the DCCI.
Since maintaining social distance needs to be continued for now, e-commerce-based MSMEs are playing a vital role at this crisis moment.
The DCCI President proposed providing VAT and tax exemptions or cash incentives to the MSMEs to engage in e-commerce ecosystem more.
Informal businesses like floating traders, hawkers, floating shops, grocers and sole traders need to be brought under the social safety network and low-cost survival business recovery emergency fund can be given for their survival.
Finance Minister Mustafa Kamal underscored the measures taken by the government and also emphasised the point that his ministry has adopted a policy for bringing out an inclusive, transparent financial stimulus packages with people from all sectors in mind.
The Finance Ministry is also engaging with foreign development partners in order to bring in funds at a low cost to further boost the stimulus packages.
The Finance Minister mentioned the programmes undertaken by the government to ensure food security. All these measures are being taken in a transparent manner with clear identifications to ensure transparency.