50pc borrowers will be defaulters if loan moratorium not extended: FBCCI

Published : 22 Jan 2022 10:48 PM

In the wake of the Corona epidemic, the country's trade and commerce have yet to turn around. In such a situation, business leaders across the country have asked for at least till June to repay the loan installments.

They made the demand at a discussion meeting of the Council of Chamber Presidents-2022 organized by the FBCCI on Saturday morning. Presidents and vice-presidents of district, city and chambers of women entrepreneurs from all over the country addressed the meeting. 

Businessmen said that after the second wave of the corona, now the omicron variant has again created a fragile situation in business and trade. In such a situation many businessmen do not have the capacity to pay the loan installments. If Bangladesh Bank does not extend the time, many of the borrowers will be defaulters, which will be detrimental to the country's economy in the long run.

FBCCI President Md. Jashim Uddin was present as the chief guest at the meeting held at the FBCCI office. Expressing solidarity with the demands of the businessmen, the President said that at least 50 per cent of the borrowers would be defaulters if the term of the loan classification facility was not extended. 

Bangladesh Bank's policy support is now even more needed to overcome the pandemic recession. Otherwise, it will be difficult for business, trade and the economy to recover.

The FBCCI president said the sectors whose business activities were shut down under the instruction of the government to control the Corona epidemic have not yet received incentive loans. Small and medium entrepreneurs have been most affected by the epidemic. But while other incentive funds were almost 100 per cent discounted, a large portion of SME incentives were not distributed.

Noting that banks are reluctant to provide small loans to small and medium enterprises, the FBCCI president said banks think it is not profitable to provide small loans. Lending to the big business sector reduces the manpower and cost of the bank. But this idea is wrong, rather it increases the risk of bad debt.

Jashim called upon the government to keep the private sector in the policy-making meeting to create a business-friendly environment in the country.

 He said the private sector contributes 82 percent to the economy. Therefore, as a representative of the private sector, it is important for the FBCCI to have a say in any policy formulation.

The meeting was chaired by Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu, President of the Council of Chamber Presidents and Senior Vice President of the FBCCI. He said businessmen are still being harassed in the country for collecting taxes and VAT. Company law, import and export law are being renewed. The FBCCI is working to make these laws business friendly.

Presidents and vice-presidents of various chambers from across the country demanded that the FBCCI president be accorded the status of state minister. They said that government officials formulate policies on their own without understanding the reality. As a result, many times these policies are not implemented. In order to create a business-friendly environment, there should be an opportunity for the FBCCI to have a say in policy-making meetings.

At the same time, the businessmen complained that the revenue officials are creating an environment of harassment and intimidation for them in various ways to collect revenue even in the midst of business disruption in the Corona epidemic. 

Among the directors of FBCCI Md. Rezul Kareim Rejnu, Tahmin Ahmed, Priti Chakrabarty, Md. Nizam Uddin, Anwar ul Alam Chowdhury Parvez and Ali Hossain Shishir spoke at the meeting.

FBCCI Vice-Presidents Md. Aminul Haque Shamim, Md. Amin Helaly, Salahuddin Alamgir, Habib Ullah Dawn, M.A. Razzak Khan Raj and Secretary General Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque were also present at the meeting.

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