83pc of stimulus packages implemented

12.4m people benefited directly: BB

Anisul Islam Noor

20 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has implemented 83 per cent of 23 financial recovery programs known as stimulus packages, launched to support different sectors to recover from the disruption caused by the corona pandemic, according to a report.

The government announced 23 stimulus packages in 2020 to protect the country’s economy from the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some 83 per cent of the stimulus packages worth Tk 830.53 billion has been implemented till May 2021, according to a BB report prepared in May.

Of the 23 stimulus packages, nine packages are being implemented directly by Bangladesh Bank and the reaming packages are being implemented jointly with the ministry of finance, banks and micro-finance institutions.

The number of direct beneficiaries of the packages is around 12.4 million (1.24 crore) people.

“The central bank’s initiatives have played a crucial role in reviving both the large and small enterprises from the shock of the pandemic. The stimulus packages are helping the country’s economy to rebound from the shock,” said BB spokesperson Md. Serajul Islam.

“The central bank has conducted research on the impact of corona in every sector of the economy and their potential dynamics over the next few years,” Serajul Islam added.

He said BB has been continuing its research and evaluation since the crisis started impacting the country’s economy in March 2020. The central bank made necessary changes in its policy and regulations for the sake of the economy during this difficult time. Syed Mahbubur Rahman, former chairman of the Association of Bankers Bangladesh (ABB), said the country's banking sector needs to move forward by facing new challenges created by the corona pandemic.

Syed Mahbubur Rahman, also the Chief Executive officer of Mutual Trust Bank, also said if the garments industry survives, it will be able to do better business in the future.

Because of the declining purchasing capacity of people around the world, people will prefer buying lower pricing clothes in future, he said.

 “Most of the companies in our country make low-cost clothes. However, the problems will be with many organizations in the service sector, including SMEs. 25 per cent of the total investment of banks is in the SME sector. From the research conducted by various organizations including BRAC, we see that two and a half crore people of the country have fallen below the poverty line due to the shock of Covid-19,” Syed Mahbubur said.

Though it is challenging to increase domestic consumption in the present situation, the government and the central bank has to prepare policies to enhance domestic consumption capacity for a quick rebound of the economy, he added.