“Although the CMSME sector is termed the engine of our economy, and CMSME financing is the fuel of that engine, financing in this sector is disappointing despite different initiatives by the central bank,” he added.

Nasser also said that to reach out to the CMSMEs, banks should think of establishing more sub-branches across the country rather than creating banking agents as it would help cut extra administrative costs.

“We are going through a tough time due to the Ukraine-Russia war and at this time if we try to control interest rates forcibly, it may create a recession,” the BB deputy governor said.

The manufacturing and service sector should get priority in getting loans right at this moment to control inflation considering the global scenario, he added.

Abu Farah Md Nasser urged the experts to think about developing an online marketplace and block chains as alternatives to the conventional system.

Bangladesh Bank has identified a total of 19 clusters, and Nasser urged all the banks to give CMSME loans under these clusters. Later he said that creating a Digital Bank (special focus on CMSMEs) is in the planning of Bangladesh Bank.

DCCI president Rizwan Rahman said, “CMSME sector plays an important role in making our economy grow but due to lack of policy support and financial support, we cannot fully utilise this sector. Commercial banks and financial institutions sometimes sense risks in giving loans to CMSMEs.”

Till 2022, some 73.77 per cent of the stimulus has been disbursed, but most of it went to medium enterprises.

He also said that regulators should give CMSMEs more access to information and communication technology, and financial assistance so that they can have the ability to boost manufacturing and be competitive in the supply chain process.

Md Jaker Hossain, director, SME and special programmes department of Bangladesh Bank, presented the keynote paper.

Md Nazeem Satter, general manager, SME Foundation, in his separate keynote paper highlighted that there are more than 7.8 million CMSMEs across the country.

He said only banks are not sufficient to ensure loans for CMSMEs, rather, alternative capacity of MFIs, NGO Foundation, Karmasangsthan Bank, BSCIC, SME Foundation should be utilised to disburse loan among the CMSMEs.