Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) President Syed Almas Kabir placed the demands in favour of five trade bodies in a pre-budget virtual press conference
Information communication technology (ICT) firms on Thursday sought special stimulus package of Tk5,000 crore to overcome their business losses hit by the new coronavirus.
Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) President Syed Almas Kabir placed the demands in favour of five trade bodies in a pre-budget virtual press conference.
He demanded 2% simple interest rate and one year grace period for the proposed collateral –free stimulus package.
“The government has already announced about Tk100,000 crore stimulus package to tackle the Covid-19 fallout impacting the country's economy, but ICT companies might not be able to comply with the banks' demands,” said Syed Almas Kabir.
As a result, the sector needed a special stimulus package of Tk5, 000 crore for ICT sector, he added.
He said ICT companies would not be able to provide any collateral for bank loan.
“Creativity is our main asset and most of our companies have no land asset and no previous records for loans. Clients are our strength,” said Almas kabir.
He said the ICT workers were also on the front liner to fight against COVID-19 and trying to facilitate people’s day to day activities through their services.
Bangladesh Association of Call Centre and Outsourcing (BACCO) President Wahidur Rahman Sharif said job cuts and layoffs started in the sector. Now immediate assurance from the government was needed to ensure a digital Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Computer Samity president Shahid Ul Munir said most ICT companies could not pay salaries to their staff due to business losses under the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The special stimulus package of Tk5,000 crore is very essential for our sector,” Munir said.
Leaders of Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) and e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) also spoke at the press conference and raised their demands for stimulus package.