The new budget should announce special incentive for SMEs and women entrepreneurs so that they can recoup the losses caused by the ongoing corona pandemic, suggest economic analysts.
“Most of the CMSME entrepreneurs could not reap the benefit of the government’s stimulus packages announced for corona recovery,” CPD’s executive director Dr Fahmida Khatun said, citing a recent study.She suggested that the government should take steps to disburse the loan from the stimulus packages quickly.
Apart from increasing loan amount, SME Foundation, PKSF and other non-government small MFIs should be engaged in loan distribution, she said.
Dr Fahmida said this while presenting the keynote paper at a pre-budget webinar on “CMSMEs and Challenges of Informal Sector,” jointly organised by SME Foundation and Association of Fashion Designers Bangladesh (AFDB) on Sunday.
Addressing the event as the chief guest, Planning Minister MA Mannan called for enhancing financial capacity of SME Foundation and allowing it to implement projects to increase credit flow to SME sector as well as develop their skills.
He said initiative should be taken to enhance skill of SMEs located in district, upazila, growth centres and clusters, adding that loans and grants should be arranged for them under the supervision of SME Foundation and other government and non-government organizations.
Addressing the event as the special guest, State Minster for Industries Kamal Ahmed Majumder said the government has continued its support to help SMEs and informal sector to overcome the corona crisis. The government has introduced credit guarantee scheme so that small and medium entrepreneurs don’t face problems in getting loans, he said, adding that National Skill Development Authority under the PMO is working on enhancing skills of informal sector.The minster also called for special budgetary allocation of small entrepreneurs, citing that they face harassment in getting loans from banks and financial institutions due to not having trade lincense. Presided over by SME Foundation Managing Director Dr Md Mofizur Rahman, the event was also attended by former finance minister AMA Muhith, UNDP’s Resident Representative Sudipto Mukerjee. SME Foundation’s general manager Farzana Khan moderated the webinar. AFDB president Mantasha Ahmed, Sonia Bashir Kabir and BB Russell, among others, also spoke at the event.