Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal today said that the government will look out for the interests of the business community even if there is some loss to the banks at the moment.
The minister said this while discussing Bangladesh Bank's decision to further extend the deadline for loan status classification to December 31.
He was talking to journalists virtually after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and the Cabinet Committee on Public Procurement.
Responding to a query on whether the banks will be affected by the central bank's decision, AHM Mustafa Kamal said, "If the traders do not survive, the banks will not survive."
On Monday, Bangladesh Bank extended the deadline for loan status classification by banks for the third times, as it now forecasts the economy will face the effects of Covid-19 longer than earlier thought.
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Highlighting the rationale for giving special benefits to traders in repaying loans, the minister said, "Banks have made good profits in the last financial year. As a result, even if the loan repayment period is extended a little, their profits will not decrease much. Moreover, the loan was not forgiven. Only the recovery period has been extended a bit. After that, they will be able to collect the loan."
Meanwhile, the cabinet committee on economic affairs today approved a proposal to upgrade the Dhaka (Joydebpur)-Mymensingh highway to an expressway with service lanes on both sides.