Govt fund available to improve garment workplace safety
Bangladesh Bank yesterday said garment factories would be allowed to avail a soft loan from the government to improve health, safety and hygiene for workers at workplaces to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.
The government formed a €50 million fund in March last year to give out the low-cost loans for garment factory remediation to enhance workplace safety in the country's main export-earning sector.
The fund can also be used to reduce pollution, ensure efficient use of energy and create a decent place to work.
From now on, the industries will be allowed to use a portion of their loans in the fight against the pandemic, according to a central bank notice.
Each garment factory is eligible to get loans of up to €1 million from the fund at 7 per cent interest rate.
Banks have to count an interest rate of 3.50 per cent to get the fund.
The central bank will play the role of the implementing agency for the fund, formed with soft loans from the Agence Française de Développement, which is a public financial institution implementing the French government's policies.
Apart from the loan fund, an additional €14.29 million will be provided as grants to the successful garment factories and banks that disburse the loans properly.
The European Union, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit and Bangladesh Bank will provide the fund as grant in the interest of the country's garment sector.