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Business leaders seek loan moratorium extension till June

50pc borrowers may be defaulters if the time not extended: FBCCI President

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 23 January, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Business leaders seek loan moratorium extension till June

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Business leaders have demanded extension of loan moratorium till June this year, expressing fear that 50 percent borrowers may be loan defaulters, if the time is not extended.

In the wake of the Corona epidemic, the country's trade and commerce have yet to turn around, they said.

In view of this, the business leaders across the country have sought suspension of loan installment repayment for at least six months.

They made the demand at a discussion meeting of the Council of Chamber Presidents-2022 organised by Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) on Saturday.

Presidents and vice-presidents of district, city and chambers of women entrepreneurs from all over the country addressed the meeting.

Businessmen said that after the second wave of the corona, now the omicron variant has again created a fragile situation in business and trade.

In such a situation many businessmen do not have the capacity to pay the loan installments, they said, adding that if Bangladesh Bank does not extend the time, many of the borrowers will be defaulters, which will  be detrimental to the country's economy in the long run. FBCCI President Md. Jashim Uddin was present as the chief guest at the meeting held at the FBCCI office.

Expressing solidarity with the demands of the businessmen, the president said: “At least 50 per cent of the borrowers will be defaulters if the term of the loan classification facility is not extended.”

“Bangladesh Bank's policy support is now even more needed to overcome the pandemic recession. Otherwise, it will be difficult for business, trade and the economy to recover,” he added.   The FBCCI president said the sectors whose business activities were shut down under the instruction of the government to control the Corona epidemic have not yet received incentive loans.

Small and medium entrepreneurs have been most affected by the epidemic. But while other incentive funds were almost 100 percent discounted, a large portion of SME incentives were not distributed.

Noting that banks are reluctant to provide small loans to small and medium enterprises, the FBCCI president said banks think it is not profitable to provide small loans. “Lending to the big business sector reduces the manpower and cost of the bank. But this idea is wrong, rather it increases the risk of bad debt.” FBCCI President Md Jashim Uddin called upon the government to keep the private sector in the policy-making meeting to create a business-friendly environment in the country.

He said the private sector contributes 82 percent to the economy. Therefore, as a representative of the private sector, it is important for the FBCCI to have a say in any policy formulation. The meeting was chaired by Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu, President of the Council of Chamber Presidents and Senior Vice President of the FBCCI. He said businessmen are still being harassed in the country for collecting taxes and VAT. Company law, import and export law are being renewed. The FBCCI is working to make these laws business friendly.