, 2023-01-09 04:00:00,
Two of the government’s 28 Covid-19 stimulus packages saw a fresh injection of Tk 50,000 crore in the ongoing financial year, but only 4 per cent of the fund was disbursed between July and October.
The two packages each aimed at providing working capital to large industries and service sector firms and cottage, micro, small, and medium enterprises (CMSMEs) saw a collective disbursement of Tk 2,151 crore as of October, according to a finance ministry report.
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Officials said many of the borrowers who already took loans under the stimulus packages in the previous two rounds have not paid back. So, they have not qualified for fresh loans from the allocations made in the latest round.
“At present, we are getting a tepid response from loan-seekers,” said Zaid Bakht, chairman of Agrani Bank.
“A reason behind this could be that the packages are in their final year of implementation.”
Some borrowers are repaying the loan on time while others are unable to pay back and they are seeking extensions of the repayment period.
“If a borrower is granted an extension, he or she will not be eligible for a new loan at the subsidised interest rate,” Bakht added.
The overall interest rate on the loans made from the stimulus packages is 9 per cent. Half of the interest is borne by the government as a subsidy.
The government introduced stimulus packages after Covid-19 was first detected in Bangladesh in March 2020.
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