Published:  08:49 PM, 19 May 2020 Last Update: 02:37 AM, 20 May 2020

FBCCI to aid SMEs in availing special loans

FBCCI to aid SMEs in availing special loans FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim

Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Sheikh Fazle Fahim held an views exchange meeting through video conference with businessmen and members of the light engineering sector. The President of FBCCI has assured of availing special loans from the government's BDT 20,000 crore financial incentive package for the cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSMEs).

Highlighting how small enterprises and new entrepreneurs of varying sectors have been hit the hardest with the ongoing pandemic, Sheikh Fazle Fahim conveyed that, although Nazrul Islam Mazumder, the president of the bank owners' association, had assured him of reaching out to the Bank MD Association for assisting the SME sector as per the government circular with the cooperation of FBCCI chambers and association; the bank head offices did not set up any help desk nor did it provide any clear instructions to the branches on the matter.

He said the non-cooperation had been reported to Finance Minister AHM Mostafa Kamal and senior government officials. Even after the finance minister had announced the financial incentive package, things are not going as expected. "I think the banks will come up with this issue and it will be resolved very soon" he added.

Abdul Matlub Ahmad, Chairman of the Nitol-Niloy Group and former President of FBCCI stated, "The country's small traders are currently starving. We need to address their suffering. These small traders will starve to death if they rely only on the government's BDT 20,000 crore incentive package. So the federation has to focus on delivering the package to the CMSME sector by May-June."

Leaders of the Light Engineering Associations said that in addition to increasing the product purchasing power of the sector, VAT and taxes should be exempted. "Because we have been hit the hardest. Besides, the government needs to announce a financial package for the next 10 years or 5 years for this sector, so that the tax on raw materials can not be increased at any time." They also think that a specific policy needs to be formulated to manage the light engineering sector.

Abdur Razzak, President of Bangladesh Engineering Industry Owners Association, Zubair A Zaman, President of Bangladesh Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association;  Rafiqul Alam Khan, President of Bangladesh Metal Wire and Warrenails Merchants Association; Md. Aslam Ali, President of Bangladesh Sub-Contracting Industry Owners Association; Abdul Malek, President of Foundry Owners Association of Bangladesh; Mirza Nazrul Gani Shovon, President of National Association of Small and Cottage Industries of Bangladesh; MA Rahman, President of Bangladesh Automobiles Workshop Owners Association; Abdul Motaleb Ahmed, President of Bangladesh Assemblers and Manufacturers Association and  Ali Zaman, President of the Small and Medium Enterprise Owners Association of Bangladesh were present in the exchange of views with businessmen of the light engineering sectorEarlier, Sheikh Fazle Fahim exchanged views online with the Women's Chamber on providing loan facilities to women entrepreneurs in different districts. Outlining the disruption of businesses across all sectors with the advent of Corona, he conveyed that the country faces a major obstacle in its economic development.

When the leaders of the women's chambers raised various allegations on the matter of availing loans, the FBCCI president said, "I urge everyone to apply for the loans with proper documents. If any bank delays the disbursement of loans then their names are to be submitted to us. We will intervene."

The meeting was attended by Swarnalatha Roy, President of the Sylhet Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industries; Monowara Hakim Ali, President of the Chittagong Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industries; Opu Akhtar, President of Barisal Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industries;  Anwara Ferdous, President of Rangpur Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industries; Fatima Zohra Akhtar, President of Kishoreganj Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industries; Monija Masud, President of Sherpur Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industries; and Hasina Newaj and Rasasti Nazreen, leaders of Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

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