BKMEA wants 42 months instead of 18 to clear stimulus loans
The knitwear manufacturers have demanded 42 months' time, up from the government's allocated 18 months, to clear the instalments of the Tk 7,500 crore stimulus loans that were given to them in 2020 to pay workers' salary and allowances.
AKM Salim Osman, president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), made the call on January 4 through a letter to Fazle Kabir, governor of Bangladesh Bank.
Osman said the knitwear makers are facing crisis in shipment of goods because of the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In many cases, the exporters are also getting delayed payment from the international retailers and brands, he said.
The BKMEA also demanded that the central bank should extend the limit of Export Development Fund (EDF) up to $30 million for each member of the association.
If needed the members of the BKMEA should also be allowed to have more than $30 million from the EDF, Osman said in the letter.
The total allocation of the EDF should also be hiked to $5 billion so that the exporters can borrow money from this fund at low interest rates, he said.
Moreover, the repayment period for the loans borrowed from the EDF should also be extended up to December 31 this year.
During the peak hours of Covid-19, majority of the local exporters have continued their business even incurring losses as the international retailers and brands paid less and delayed in payment, he said.
Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, vice-president of the BKMEA, said they sought 42 months' time as they want to clear one third of each loan instalment in a month.