PM urges private banks to back govt’s stimulus packages for small traders



Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today asked private banks to supplement the government’s credit programme for small traders under its stimulus packages announced to offset fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The state-owned banks have been extending support to the credit programme (for the small traders). In this case, if the private banks come forward, there is no doubt that they will be ultimately benefited once the trade and commerce starts in full swing after the present Covid-19 situation,” she said.

The prime minister said this while receiving donations virtually through videoconference from her official residence Gono Bhaban.

Some 35 commercial banks under Bangladesh Association of Banks (BAB) provided a total of 25,95,000 pieces of blankets to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund to help the poor during the upcoming winter season.

On behalf of the premier, her Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus received the donations.

Sheikh Hasina said there is a programme of economic support for small traders at the low-interest rate as part of the facilities the government is providing under its incentive packages.

“However, I think that the private banks need to be more sincere to this end … as you always stand beside the people and in this case you’ll also have to stand beside them,” she said.

Extending thanks to BAB for its generosity of providing this donation, the premier said the association leaders stand beside the people when any disaster takes place in the country. “We could provide more assistance to the people for their generosity,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the menace of natural disasters could escalate in the country during the winter in the way it experienced flooding and other natural calamities.

Expressing happiness over providing blankets before the arrival of winter, the prime minister said the people will be immensely benefitted for it. “I extend my sincere thanks to the BAB for this,” she said.

Mentioning that the entire world, including Bangladesh, is witnessing stalemate in everything due to the coronavirus, Sheikh Hasina praised the people of Bangladesh for their courage and mental strength in facing the situation.

In this connection, she mentioned her government’s timely and proper steps to combat the Covid-19.

Expressing apprehension over the second wave of Covid-19, the PM said the Covid-19 situation has largely been brought under control in Bangladesh, but the resurge in Covid infection is seen in many countries, including in Europe.

In this context, she stressed the need for taking cautionary measures in Bangladesh. “We need to be aware from now on. We are already taking appropriate measures in this regard and urging everyone to be further aware of this…protect yourself and protect others.”

She said all should be conscious so that the second wave of Covid cannot leave adverse impact on the country’s economy and not hamper the livelihood of the people as well as the wheels of economy remain moving.

 

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