Plastic goods manufacturers would get soft loans at low interest rate to develop products having potentials at home and abroad.
SME Foundation, an independent and non-profit organisation, will provide 177 clusters of small and medium enterprises in the city and its adjacent areas with collateral-free loans of Tk3 crore at 9% interest under a programme styled “Cluster Mapping.”
Managing director of the foundation Engr Syed Md Ihsanul Karim and IDLC Finance Ltd Managing Director Selim RF Hussain signed an agreement on the lending programme for their respective organisations in Dhaka yesterday.
Lalbag, Chalkbazar, Islambag and adjacent areas of Dhaka district will come under the cluster. After a need assessment programnme, the foundation found access to finance is the main bottleneck for the micro and small entrepreneurs of these areas.
There are around 3,000 small, medium and large entrepreneurs who provide more than one lakh jobs. Over 150 types of plastic products like household goods, toys, raw materials for different industries and bottles are being manufactured in the country.
Plastic products currently represent a sizeable sub-sector in the chemical industry.
But most of the manufacturers are suffering from lack of infrastructure support; waste management and recycling facility; and skilled manpower.
According to the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) of the United Nations launched in 2012, the market size of plastic products is around US$1bn - $714m in the domestic market and the remaining in the global market.
Local producers exported plastic products worth US$38m in the first six months of the current fiscal year, according to Export Promotion Bureau.
Plastic products are used in different purposes such as packaging, construction, pharmaceutical and consumer products.
Garbage bags, toothbrushes, artificial flowers, ballpoint pens, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipes, polythene sheets, electric switches and computer accessories are also being made up of plastic.