• Saturday, Feb 22, 2020
  • Last Update : 05:02 pm

Cabinet approves draft SME policy

  • Published at 07:46 pm September 9th, 2019
Cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approves the draft SME Policy 2019 on Monday SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

The approval came at the cabinet meeting held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at her office

The cabinet yesterday approved the draft of SME Policy 2019, aiming to ensure access of some 7.8 million SMEs in the country to finance, technology and market.

The approval came at the cabinet meeting held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at her office.

“The SME Policy will be implemented from 2019 to June 2024,” said Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam while briefing reporters at the Bangladesh Secretariat after the meeting.

“There are some 7.8 million micro, small and medium industrial entities in the SME sector. And the sector’s contribution to the GDP is 25%,” he said.

The policy would ensure six matters for SME investors — access to finance, technology, innovation, market, education and training, business support services, and information, said the cabinet secretary.

There would be two committees — a 37-member committee headed by the industries minister and a 29-member committee led by the industries secretary — to implement the policy, he said.

The strategic objectives of the policy include introducing guarantee fund, providing loan on soft conditions to SMEs, assisting the start-ups, making the startup process easier, providing training, loan and other facilities for women entrepreneurs, preparing data server over SMEs, promoting SMEs to set up environment-friendly industrial enterprises.

According to the National Industrial Policy-2016, in manufacturing category, a small enterprise is defined as having 31 to 120 employees and investing Tk75 lakh to 15 crore excluding land and factory building.

In case of service, the number of employed workers in a small enterprise will be 16 to 50, while the investment amount is Tk10 lakh to 2 crore. 

In manufacturing, medium industry/enterprise is defined as an industry which invests Tk15 crore to Tk50 crore and employs 121 to 300 people.

In service, the investment amount for a medium enterprise is between Tk2 crore and Tk30 crore, employing 51 to 120 workers.

Besides, the cabinet in principle approved the draft of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation Bill 2019 bringing some minor changes to the existing Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation Order 1972.

“There’s no major change in the new bill,” said the cabinet secretary.

As per the bill, the amount of paid up capital for BIWTC was Tk500 crore and that of the authorized capital also was Tk500 crore, he said.

There would be a six-member board of directors instead of the existing five-member board for the corporation as a joint secretary of the shipping ministry would be appointed as a part-time director for it, said Shafiul Alam.

The cabinet also cleared a proposal for announcing December 4 as the National Textile Day and observe it every year.