Enamul Hafiz Latifee writes,
Around 1.92 million Mobile Financial Service (MFS) accounts have been created since 04 April 2020 in the apparel making and exporting industry following a move of the government to provide salaries and allowances of the workers and employees through mobile banking.
The accounts have been opened through three MFS providers- Bkash, Rocket and Nagad, said a media statement of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Out of the 1.92 million accounts, around 0.97 million have been opened through Bkash while 0.55 million through Rocket and 0.4 million through Nagad.
Earlier, Bangladesh Bank instructed all authorities concerned to open MFS accounts for all workers and employees of export-oriented industries and factories by 20 April 2020 to facilitate providing salaries and allowances from the government’s financial package.
Under the stimulus package, the central bank will provide loans without interest as per the demand of banks, but banks can take 2 percent one-time service charge for bearing their administrative costs.
Export-oriented industries, which export a minimum of 80 percent of its total production, will be eligible for the government-announced financial stimulus fund.
The owners or management of those industries could take a loan from that fund and thus could disburse the salaries of their employees and workers for three months (April, May and June of this year).
The borrowers will get a six-month grace period, meaning that they will start paying back the borrowed money in installments to the government from the seventh month of receiving the money. The loan amount will be repaid in two years by 18 installments.
If anyone does not pay the loan installment in time, the loan will become classified as per the conventional rules and 2 percent interest will have to be paid on the outstanding installments.
Meanwhile, BGMEA today, 18 April 2020 claimed around 94.68 percent of workers of their listed factories have been paid wages for the month of March 2020 so far amid CODIV-19 breakout. “Some 2,341,000 workers out of the total 2,472,417 of BGMEA member factories have received the wages of March,” BGMEA told media on 18 April 2020.