MSMEs have lost Tk92000cr during lockdown period
With the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, about 13% people have lost their jobs in Bangladesh, according to a survey.
The findings of the survey was unveiled at a virtual conversation titled “BIDS Critical Conversations 2020 - In the Shadow of Covid - Coping, Adjustments, and Responses" organized by Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) on Wednesday.
The survey titled “Coping with Covid -19 and Individual Responses: Findings from a Large Online Survey” was conducted with over 30,000 people participating from across Bangladesh, covering all the divisions and districts.
It was conducted from May 5 to May 29.
The survey also found expected and significant negative effects on employment, income and expenditures, especially of low-income groups.
As per the report findings, 19.23% of participants with income less than Tk5,000 said their income reduced by 75%, while 23.31% of the participants with income between Tk5,000-Tk15,000 reported an income reduction of 50% of income compared to April.
Meanwhile, 15.75% of participants with income between Tk15,000 – Tk30,000 reported an income reduction of 25% during the same period.
MSMEs lose Tk92000cr during lockdown period
The total loss in the local Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector due to two-months of lockdown was estimated at Tk92000 crore, Monzur Hossain, senior research fellow at BIDS, said during another research findings presentation.
The sector gave wage payment of Tk12,000 crore with revenue or sales loss incurring at Tk80,000 crore during the lockdown period.
"The stimulus should consist of three components: interest waiver for the existing indebted firms and debt relief grant and interest subsidy for the new loans" Monzur said.
Professor Siddiqur Rahman Osmani of the School of Economics at University of Ulster said: “Many of these enterprises are currently outside the network of the banking system, a comprehensive list of these enterprises must be prepared first through the cooperation of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), Small & Medium Enterprise Foundation, and Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC).”
“We know from various statistics that well over a 100,000 people were displaced, with many among them slipping into poverty.”
“The government thus found it imperative to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of this large section of the population,” Siddiqur added.
Planning minister MA Mannan said the government will make “grant cards” to distribute proper assistance among poor people in the country who are going through difficult times due to the Covid-19 fallout.
“Poor people have been affected the most due to the coronavirus pandemic. We all should help them now.”
“A grand card should be made to distribute assistance properly. However, BIDS, the Election Commission and the Passport department are making lists separately. We should compile these. Then it will be more helpful to work,” the minister said.
The minister further said he was worried with the poverty situation in the country that was reported in the survey findings.
“The government will see the survey report properly. Poverty is a matter to be worried about.”
“The poverty situation from 2000 to 2010 and 2010 to 2020 is different. The socioeconomic situation has changed globally due to Covid-19,” the minister also said.