BB asks exporters to apply for loans from stimulus package immediately
Export-oriented industries will have to apply for loans immediately if they want to get funds from the Tk 5,000 crore stimulus package to pay wages to workers, said the central bank yesterday as it published terms and conditions.
The industries will have to submit the loan application to their respective banks as the central bank has asked the lenders to place loan requirement by April 20.
The owners of the export-oriented industries, which will be allowed to enjoy the loans, will have to pay back the fund within two years, or else they will be considered as defaulters, said the BB in a notice.
The BB issued the notice as per instructions of the finance ministry for disbursement of the stimulus package aimed at helping exporters tide over the economic fallout of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The interest-free loan, which will be used to pay wages to the employees of the industrial units, will carry 2 per cent service charge and has a repayment period of two years, including a grace period for six months from July to December this year.
Exporters will have to pay back the loans in 18 monthly instalments from January 2021 to June 2022. The central bank will realise the amount by deducting funds from the lenders' current account with the BB.
If the borrowers fail to pay back the loans on time, they will face 2 per cent penal interest.
Exporters are eligible to take the loans to pay wages for three months from April to June.
The BB will deposit the funds with the banks in three phases over the next three months. The funds will be paid into the banks' accounts on the last working day of the month, according to the central bank notice.
Exporters will get loans equivalent to the average wage amounts of three months from December to February.
As per the guideline, factory owners would have to submit the salary sheets of workers from December to February of 2019, the list of workers and their banking or mobile banking accounts to banks.
Once the verification is complete, banks will disburse the salaries to the workers' mobile banking or bank accounts. This means no fund will be given to the account of the factory owners.
Factories that export at least 80 per cent of their products are eligible for the loans. Active factories that paid salaries and wages to workers from December to February would also be considered.
The exporters will have to obtain certification from their respective trade body to enjoy the loans. For instance, a readymade garment factory will have to take the letter from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the letter has to be signed by the president and the general secretary, the central bank explained.
The government has come up with the rescue package as the export sectors have been reeling from the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic.
As of yesterday, $3 billion worth of garment orders were cancelled by international retailers and brands, according to data compiled by the BGMEA.