6 April 2020, Mon, 9:54

Secretary General appreciates government’s financial stimulus package; puts stress on its proper implementation

  • Banks are are not in a position to manage money
  • Warns of nepotism, corruption and partisan attitude
  • Declared package fails to address the demand of the agriculture and food sector
  • No guideline for the expatriates and marginal people

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami’s Secretary General and former lawmaker Professor Mia Golam Porwar has issued the following statement on 6 April 2020 hailing the Prime Minister as she declared an economic stimulus package to counter the adverse impact of coronavirus outbreak and simultaneously urging to implement the declared package properly.  

“We appreciate the Prime Minister as she declared a financial stimulus package to save and protect the struggling economy in the context of coronavirus outbreak. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday announced stimulus packages to the tune of Taka 72,750 crore (USD 8,573 million). It is basically a loan package which has paved the way for the businessmen to get incentives and conditional loans. But this package fails to address the requirement of the agriculture and food security sector. It also does not have any specific provision for the home-returned workers, who had been forced to return to Bangladesh from different countries following the coronavirus outbreak. At present, all the small and bigger institutions and sectors need assistances and financial support. Agriculture is the key sector of Bangladesh’s economy whereas dairy, poultry and fisheries are functioning as its supplementary sections. Around 20 to 30 million families are directly involved with agriculture. In one hand, they do not get agricultural tools and raw materials with due price. On the other, they are being deprived from getting the due prize of the products. PM’s declared package did not clarify any option for the agriculture and food security.

Our expatriates have been working in the foreign nations and sending remittances subsequently. Thus, they are playing an important role to boost up national economy. When most of the economic index go down, the remittances of the expatriates help to keep economy active. Right now, hundreds of thousands of labor forces are financially under threat due to coronavirus outbreak. It is the obligation and duty of the government to take stand by their side, particularly in this critical period. But the declared package failed to address their issues as well.  

The day-laborers are the marginal people, who have been working for the country by dint of hard work and labor. But this package did not tell anything specific for this huge number of people. 

We think, this financial stimulus package should cover the demand of the agriculture and food sector as well as the requirement of the expatriates and marginal people. The government should expand its social safety net to help the poor and impoverished people.

Whatever is said in the declared package about the industrial and SME sectors, will be delivered to the businessmen as loans. As such, the bigger industrialists will get loans with low interest while the small entrepreneurs and industrialists will get loans with more interest. We are of the view that, such a discrimination is unwanted and unexpected. SME businessmen and smaller entrepreneurs deserve more favor.

Commercial banks are supposed to manage money but their condition is not better enough to do so. All the banks are suffering from liquidity crisis. The collective amounts of loan defaults are more than two lac crores. Earlier, government took unpayable loans, worth of one and half lac crore from different banks. Under the circumstances, it would be difficult for the banks to manage the money for the financial stimulus package.

Moreover, huge doubt remains over there about the distribution of this money. People are in fear thinking that, this package will open way for more nepotism, politicization and corruption. Prime Minister, in her address, asked every concerned to work with honesty. She also warned them not to get involved with corruption.   

We think, the money of the stimulus package should not be delivered to any loan defaulters. The government must ensure that, the money will not be given to any big fishes or the corrupted syndicates.

We hope and believe that, the concerned quarters will work honestly and sincerely to implement the Prime Minister declared financial stimulus package, going beyond all sorts of nepotism, partisan attitudes and corruption.