Banks aren't providing support to SMEs: Fazle Fahim

20 May 2020 8:37 AM
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Sheikh Fazle Fahim on Tuesday said that small entrepreneurs were not getting any support from banks to obtain special loans from the government-announced stimulus package of Tk 20,000 crore.

‘Although the lender owners’ association had assured me of calling the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh for providing support to the SME sector according to the federal government circular with the cooperation of the FBCCI, any initiative is yet to be visible in this regard,’ Fahim said at an online exchange of views ending up in businesspersons of the light engineering sector.  

The FBCCI president said that the banks didn't set up any help desk nor achieved it provide any clear instructions to the branches on disbursing loans to the SMEs.

He said that the non-cooperation have been reported to the finance minister and senior government officials.

‘Even after the finance minister had announced the financial incentive package, things aren't going as expected. I think the banks will come up with this issue and it'll be resolved very soon,’ Fahim said.

Leaders of the light engineering associations demanded exemption from payment of VAT and taxes for the sector and urged the federal government to announce a financial package for the light engineering sector for the next five to a decade.

Former FBCCI president Abdul Matlub Ahmad requested the apex trade body to take the initiative on disbursing the package to the cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises by May-June.

‘If we fail to address the sufferings of small traders, they will starve to death,’ he said.

Bangladesh Engineering Industry Owners Association president Abdur Razzak, Bangladesh Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association president Zubair A Zaman, National Association of Small and Cottage Industries of Bangladesh president Mirza Nazrul Gani Shovon and Bangladesh Automobiles Workshop Owners Association president MA Rahman, amongst others, took part in the online discussion.

Earlier, the FBCCI president held another online exchange of views ending up in leaders of the country’s women’s chambers on providing loan facilities to women entrepreneurs in different districts.