The Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) on Sunday sought Tk 610 crore government grant to keep the services uninterrupted and protect the sector from losses amid the coronavirus outbreak.
ISPAB submitted an application to the Telecom Minister Mustafa Jabbar on Sunday.
They sought Tk 610 crore grant to pay six months’ salaries of their staff and office rents and withdrawal of Value Added Tax (VAT) of the internet service providers for at least two years.
Fiber teams and network teams have been working round the clock when whole country is under partial lockdown after government announcement, the Association said.
As a result, different organizations including banks, insurance companies, call centers, software, media and hospitals are working uninterruptedly, they said.
The government of Bangladesh has put in its best efforts to help out the foreign citizens and permanent residents (PRs) stranded in Bangladesh, says the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The government said it remains committed to providing adequate health facilities and support to the foreign citizens and PRs living inside the country, particularly the diplomats and their families.
The government has extended its wholehearted cooperation to the foreign missions in Dhaka who sought assistance to take their citizens and PRs keen to stand by their family members during this crisis period, according to MoFA.
So far the government has facilitated six special flights including two flights to the USA consisting of over 900 passengers.
Most of them being regular visitors arriving in Bangladesh before the COVID-19 outbreak got stranded as the regular flight operations were suspended, said the MoFA.
As they started to contact the embassies and requested for the repatriation, embassies undertook measures in collaboration with the government to arrange charter flights.
About 85 percent of USA-bound passengers are Bangladeshi-born US citizens and PRs who travel to reunite with their families and accompany them during the time when they need them most, said the Ministry.
A significant number of PRs had to travel back to the USA before the deadline period, a legal obligation that needs to be obliged by all PRs, it said.
A large number of Japanese and Russians who have left and are in the process of leaving were engaged in different projects which are currently not in operation.
So these experts and consultants have decided to join their families as currently they do not have much work.
As soon as the situation normalizes, all of them are expected to return, MoFA said.
Among other cases, a good number of foreign students studying in Bangladesh have flown back and are in the process of leaving Bangladesh as all the educational institutions are presently closed, it said.