The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) urged the government on Monday to provide soft loans to cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSMEs) for betterment of the country's economy.
The apex trade-body came up with the request during the first meeting of its Standing Committee on CMSMEs and Rural Industry Development - held at its Motijheel office.
"By introducing a CMSME-friendly banking system we can ensure easy access to finance for the entrepreneurs. The government incentives can also be disbursed through it," FBCCI Vice President (VP) Md Amin Helaly said in the meeting.
"Several large industries are now producing the same products that the CMSMEs make. Due to this, the CMSMEs are losing their competitiveness. In such a situation, it is important to have policies on what kind of products the large industries can produce and what cannot produce," he added.
FBCCI VP Md. Habib Ullah Dawn said, "Consumers' tastes are changing day by day. In line with that, the CMSMEs should also diversify their products."
He emphasised research and development for betterment of the CMSME sector, and opined that the entrepreneurs concerned should properly maintain their business documents to enjoy easy loans from banks.
Khan Ahmed Shuvo MP, director-in-charge of the FBCCI committee, said one of the big challenges for the CMSMEs is market access.
He urged the FBCCI to work with the government in this regard.
Committee chairman Mirza Nurul Ghani Shovon said more government incentives are needed for the CMSMEs to overcome the post-Covid shocks and face the Ukraine crisis-related challenges.
He thanked the FBCCI for signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Bengal Commercial Bank Limited for giving loans to the SMEs on easy terms.
Other members of the committee demanded transparency in and availability of financing for the CMSMEs.
FBCCI directors Hafez Harun and Abu Hossain Bhuiyan, former director Khandaker Ruhul Amin, and committee co-chairmen Ashrafur Rahman, K M Johir Faruk and Khaliluz Zaman along with SME Foundation general manager Farzana Khan were also present in the meeting, among others.