Bangladesh Bank
Bangladesh BankUNB

Bangladesh Bank has further extended the deadline until 31 March for the disbursement of loans under the government-announced stimulus package of Tk 200 billion (20,000 crore) for the COVID-19 affected cottage, micro, small and medium enterprise (CMSME) sector.

A central bank circular, issued on Sunday by SME and Special Programme Department, extended the deadline, reports UNB.

Earlier, the central bank issued a circular on 13 April 2020 asking the banks to distribute the special credit within 31 October to help CMSME investors recover their business from the Coronavirus affects.

But most of the banks were found to have failed to reach targets of loan distribution among the affected CMSME entrepreneurs within the stipulated time. This promoted the Bangladesh Bank to extend the time till 31 December.

Again it was observed by the central bank that a good number of banks failed to distribute loans under the stimulus package though some banks were successful in achieving their respective targets.

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“So, the new circular was issued to ensure that these banks would fulfill their targets in distribution of loans under the package by 31 March,” said the Bangladesh Bank.

The BB also asked the failed banks to report to the SME and Special Programme Department of the central bank by 17 January with a monthly workplan to distribute the loans.

Bangladesh Bank study found that only 28.4 per cent of the loans for CMSME sectors were distributed until 31 October while banks have disbursed about 70.8 per cent of loans meant for large-scale industries.

The latest Bangladesh Bank data show that from the Tk 20,000-crore package for CMSMEs, banks have disbursed Tk 5,674 crore while they have so far disbursed Tk 28,313 crore from the Tk 40,000-crore packages meant for the large businesses and exporters.

Studies show that workers in the informal sector, especially in the CMSME sector, have been pushed into a difficult situation as many of them have lost their job and many more have faced a decline in income.