Covid-19 Stimulus Package

TIB finds disparity in loan disbursement

Staff Correspondent

11 November, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has found discrimination in disbursement of loan under the stimulus package in absence of good governance to fight Covid-19 pandemic.

The research was conducted on governance challenges in tackling coronavirus (Part II) to identify performance of different initiatives taken to tackle the virus before and after its spread.

The study found the dispensing rate of stimulus packages for large industries and export-oriented industries is very high – 73 percent to 100 percent allegedly due to political influence and lobbying. In contrast, a slow pace was observed in the case of disbursement of the package for agricultural sector, low-income farmers and small traders, small and medium enterprises that is 21 percent to 42 percent only.

Some commercial banks have shown little interest in disbursing money under these packages, the report said.  

The government announced Tk1111.41 billion in 20 stimulus packages to absorb the economic shock. So far, around 26% of this amount has been disbursed.

Though the government has improved service quality in some sectors, many other sectors found a wide range of shortfall in all indicators of governance, including corruption and irregularities in preparation, planning and rapid response to prevent coronavirus, the study found.

TIB conducted its first phase of the study to identify challenges of good governance in various activities undertaken by the government during the first three months of coronavirus infection. That phase of study was released on 15 June 2020.

The second phase of its report on “Governance Challenges in Tackling Coronavirus” was released on Tuesday while data collected during the period of 16 June to 31 October 2020.

This phase of the TIB study aims at monitoring the progress of various indicators of governance in the post-June 15 period.

The study also showed lack of implementation of two relevant laws—The Disaster Management Act, 2012 and The Communicable Disease (Prevention, Control and Elimination) Act, 2018 -- during the pandemic crisis.

With this, the authorities ended up making too many committees to tackle Covid-19.  

Moreover, The Public Procurement Rules, 2008 (PPR, 2008) was violated in the public procurement of a foreign donor-funded project.

TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman, Prof Sumaiya Khair, Policy Manager Shahjada M Akram were present at the press conference while Deputy Research Manager Md Julkarnayeen presented the research report.

On 8 March 2020, Bangladesh reported its first Covid-19 case and now globally ranks 20th in terms of the total cases.

Although coronavirus transmission has currently decreased to some extent in the country, it still remains a big health hazard.

More than 188 countries/regions around the world have so far been infected by Covid-19, which was first reported in China in December 2019.