The Bangladesh Bank instructed banks and non-bank financial institutions to include more business entities in the stimulus package
Large industries and service sector entities can receive loans for three years under the stimulus package of Tk30,000 crore if they do not avail the total eligible amount in a year.
In a circular on Thursday, the Bangladesh Bank allowed banks and non-bank financial institutions to issue loans to eligible borrowers in phases in three years and instructed the lenders to include a bigger number of business entities in the stimulus package.
Earlier, an entity had been entitled for the low cost loan just for one year.
"The central bank brought the relaxation with a view to ensuring the loan facility for a greater number of affected businesses so that they can accelerate and revive their business," a senior official of the central bank told The Business Standard.
He also said the policy relaxation would allow banks to utilise the stimulus packages for the maximum number of borrowers.
For instance, a borrower – entitled to receive a loan of Tk300 under the stimulus package – will now be able to take the loan facility in three phases, Tk100 each time, in three years.
If the entire Tk300 is issued to a single borrower in the first year, it will be difficult for banks to provide the facility to the maximum number of borrowers, which prompted the central bank to issue the circular.
Following the outbreak of novel coronavirus, the government announced a number of stimulus packages for businesses – including the Tk30,000 crore one for the industries and service sectors.
During the three-year package, the government will pay half of the applicable 9 percent interest, and borrowers will have to pay the remaining half.
The central bank circular said if it is not possible to disburse loans in full limit to any customer, the remaining amount can be disbursed to the borrower within the package duration.
The total existing loans of borrowers must be within 30 percent of the working capital limit as of December 31, 2019, the circular added.
Besides, the same limit will be applicable for the new borrowers as well, it said.
The Bangladesh Bank also clarified that the interest subsidy will only be given against the loans that are within the specified limit.
The central bank official said till now around 140 entities have availed Tk2500 crore to Tk3,000 crore loans from the stimulus package.