Economists, business leaders hail PM’s stimulus package

7 April, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Country’s leading economists and business leaders on Monday welcomed the Taka 72,750-crore stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday to offset the possible impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the country’s economy.

They noted that the announcement of this stimulus package is a praiseworthy effort by the Prime Minister who is working to help the economy overcome this COVID-19 shock, reports BSS.

The news agency talked to the country’s leading economists – PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, PRI executive director and Brac Bank chairman Dr Ahsan H Mansur and DCCI President Shams Mahmud – for reactions over the package.

Welcoming the Prime Minister’s move for announcing such a huge package, Kholiquzzaman said Sheikh Hasina deserves appreciation for the Taka 72,750 crore stimulus package which is almost 2.52 percent of the GDP size.

He underscored the need for proper implementation this package by those responsible for it so that the targeted groups are really benefitted.

The PKSF chairman said the government would have to act fast in this regard by framing necessary policies and guidelines and thus ensuring that the workers get its benefits and no middlemen could interfere in it and enjoy the fruits.

“The government will have to keep its eyes on it. Even our Prime Minister also cautioned that corruption won’t be tolerated during the implementation of this package. I hope there won’t be any corruption here and if that happens, the culprits should have to be brought to book,” he said, adding that the Prime Minister has already issued a strong warning in this regard.

Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, also the chairman of Dhaka School of Economics (DScE), said the government should have to ensure proper implementation of this package and the targeted people like the workers, people who are lagging behind, and micro entrepreneurs, could enjoy its benefits.

Mentioning that the Taka 30,000 crore fund to be provided to the affected industries and service sector organizations as working capital through banks as low-interest loans would be very important, he said there might be a crisis of working capital following the COVID-19 shock and it has to be ensured that such fund does reach to the targeted organizations.

The renowned economist also suggested that the the second package of Taka 20,000 crore as working capital for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including cottage industries must also reach properly to the micro and cottage industries as well as to the SMEs.

He said many micro and cottage industries do not have much access to the banks and a suitable method should have to be evolved to reach the benefits of this package to those.

“If these micro entrepreneurs face debacle, then they won’t be able to turn around. We’ll have to reach them,” he added.