• MARCH 28, 2023
Covid stimulus

69pc businesses out of benefits

Only 22 per cent business farm received stimulus package and the ready-made garment sector got 58 per cent of total the incentives. COURTESY

  • Industry
  • Staff Correspondent
  • Published: 03 May 2021, 11:45 AM

A study said that 69 per cent of business firms did not get fund from the government-supported stimulus package announced to tackle Covid-19 situation while 9 per cent of the businesses do not even know of the facilities.

The South Asian Network on Economic Modeling unveiled the information in a webinar on Sunday. SANEM in collaboration with The Asia Foundation conducted the 4th round of a nationwide firm-level survey with 500 business entities from April 6 to 18, 2021.

SANEM’s executive director Selim Raihan, also a professor of economics at Dhaka University, read out the survey findings and moderated the programme.

Only 22 per cent business farm received stimulus package and the ready-made garment sector got 58 per cent of total the incentives.

The transport sector got 5 per cent, wholesale traders 6 per cent, retailers9 per cent but the ICT sector did not get any incentives, the study said.

Economist Zahid Hussain and Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Rizwan Rahman also joined the program as panellists.

The panellists said that there should be more attention to the cottage industries, micro and small entrepreneurs. If they do not survive, achieving the country’s middle-income status would go far, they said.

Earlier on January this year, the Bangladeshi government has approved two new Covid-19 stimulus packages of 27 billion taka to support small and medium enterprises and low-income communities.

Bangladesh had earlier approved 21 stimulus packages. With the addition of these two new packages, the total number of Covid-19 stimulus packages in the country stood at 23 with an overall outlay of 1.24 trillion taka which is 4.44 percent of GDP.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said that the new stimulus packages, approved by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, would help small businesses as well as low-income communities affected by the Covid-19.

The size of the freshly approved first stimulus package is 15 billion taka and out of this amount, 3 billion taka will reportedly be given to the Small and Medium Enterprises Foundation for expanding its operations meant for the cottage and small organizations alongside facilitating the female entrepreneurs.

The size of the fresh 2nd stimulus package is 12 billion taka and it will be spent for bringing the poor people, widows and husband-abandoned women of some 150 upazilas (subdistrict) under the government allowances in the next fiscal year. (1 U.S. dollar equals about 86 taka) End item.

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