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e-CAB seeks Tk240cr assistance, additional Tk600cr in soft loans

  • Published at 09:48 pm May 13th, 2020
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Tipu Munshi: 0.5m new jobs possible if e-commerce industry grows

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Wednesday said if the rise in e-commerce sales continued, then at least 500,000 jobs could be created in the sector in the next one year.

He was speaking at an online press briefing jointly organized by the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) and the Commerce Ministry on the state of the e-commerce industry amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The minister also promised to lend all possible support to assist the development of the e-commerce industry.

Commerce Secretary Md Jafar Uddin emphasized a relaxation of provisions regarding receiving bank loans and enhancing credit facilities as, in his opinion, the country's economy would soon depend heavily on e-commerce.

Sheikh Fazle Fahim, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said the potential of e-commerce was highly distinctive during the countrywide shutdown as people purchased their essential groceries and other items online instead of physically visiting stores.

He also urged those who conducted traditional businesses to make the transition to online transactions, as many had already opted to do so. 

Hafizur Rahman, director of the 'E-Banijjo Korbo, Nijer Bebsha Gorbo' project under the Commerce Ministry, said 1,475 youths from Dhaka and Chittagong had received training in e-commerce from the project, and it had the potential to train many more.

e-Cab seeks Tk240cr assistance

Meanwhile, e-Cab officials have sought Tk240 crore in financial assistance from the government, and an additional Tk600 crore in soft loans, so that their member organizations could survive the economic fallout arising out of the pandemic.

They also mentioned at the briefing that they had to bear Tk480 crore as monthly expenditure, such as office rent and staff salaries.

Shomi Kaiser, president of e-CAB, said the pandemic had caused its member organizations to incur Tk666 crore in losses so far, not to mention next-to-nothing sales during Pohela Boishakh and lackluster Eid sales till now.

Those who purchased and stocked ahead of Boishakh and Eid were facing the most losses, she noted.

"Even during this crisis, our members have fetched Tk100 crore through cross-border e-commerce," Shomi Kaiser added.

Representatives from such popular e-commerce outlets as Chaldal, Aarong, Walton, Evaly, Daraz, foodpanda, Hungrynaki and others also attended the briefing.

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