• Friday, Jan 22, 2021
  • Last Update : 11:23 am

Achievements from stimulus packages are good: Mannan

  • Published at 12:39 am December 4th, 2020
Planning Minister MA Mannan addresses a discussion at a hotel in Dhaka on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 <strong>Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune</strong>
Planning Minister MA Mannan addresses a discussion at a hotel in Dhaka on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The Bangladesh Bank and the finance division has to oversee whether the banks were diligent about disbursing the funds

The 21 stimulus packages announced by the government to tackle the economic fallout of the pandemic have yielded the desired results so far, said Planning Minister MA Mannan on Thursday.

When asked about some targets not receiving stimulus until now, especially entrepreneurs and small businesses, he said the Bangladesh Bank and the finance division has to oversee whether the banks were diligent about disbursing the funds according to the guidelines set by the government or not.

Addressing the issue of "miss-targeting" while spending funds, Mannan also said to spend money, but wisely.

The minister was speaking as a chief guest at the second dialogue of a series on stimulus packages for sustainable and inclusive recovery from Covid-19 fallout in Bangladesh, titled "Employment Creation and Revitalising Rural Economy."

The government has so far declared stimulus packages worth Tk 1.21 lakh crore, at least 4.34 per cent of the country's GDP.

BB Governor Fazle Kabir spoke at the dialogue as the special guest while General Economics Division (GED) member of the Planning Commission Shamsul Alam, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director Manmohan Parkash, FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim, Distinguished fellow of CPD Mustafizur Rahman, SME Foundation Chairperson M Masudur Rahman spoke as panel discussants.

Both theBB and the banking sector had been working relentlessly to disburse the stimulus packages in a timely manner, Kabir said.

Regarding the working capital loan of Tk 20,000 crore for the SME and cottage industries, he informed that so far, Tk 8,218 crore has been released out of that amount with a disbursement rate of 41.09 per cent.

He also said that the timeframe for classification of loans has been extended till December so that the target for disbursement of loans could be fulfilled by this time.

Finance Division Senior Secretary AbdurRoufTalukder said that 56-57 per cent of the packages have so far been disbursed.

He also mentioned that implementation of some of those packages, like for real estate businesses, were taking some time.

Mobilising more internal resources through broadening the tax base, attracting more foreign direct investment, official development assistance, budget support, continue supporting export facilities, rationalize tariffs, go for signing more free-tree areas and preferential trade acces, and to have an immediate national household database were the keys to quick economic recovery, Alam said.

Parkash said ADB is working with the government on another $1 billion support programme, of which $500 million will be spent on the small- and medium-sized enterprises and to ensure resource mobilisation while another $500 million for health and social protection.

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