Increasing investment, sustaining domestic demand, and creating employment in the coming days are vital for the economic recovery of the country that should pay special attention to the small and medium entrepreneurs.
This observation was made at a virtual press conference on "Budget 2021-22: SME Sector's Expectation and Achievement", organised by the Small & Medium Enterprise Foundation (SMEF) in Dhaka on Sunday.
Chairperson of the foundation Dr Md Masudur Rahman and Managing Director Dr Md Mafizur Rahman briefed reporters at the event.
The SMEF chairperson said the overall economic crisis in the country is at somewhat tolerable level than assumed at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Yet, it's an intense economic crisis and we all need to work together to overcome the crisis," he said.
Similar to other countries, Bangladesh's small and medium entrepreneurs are also playing a vital role for the economy, he mentioned.
Mr Rahman also said the SMEF is set to disburse credit of Tk 1.0 billion among entrepreneurs to help them survive from losses as per the government's declared stimulus package within the two-month period ending in this June.
Acknowledging some SME-friendly policies proposed in the FY '22 budget, he said the SME Foundation will send some more proposals to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to review for the sake of local entrepreneurs.
Noting that the government's attention to the SME sector has expanded significantly in recent years, he said as a result they are trying to find ways to recover from the losses due to the pandemic.
SMEF MD Mr Mafizur Rahman said the foundation has sent 391 proposals related to tax, VAT, tariff and incentives to the NBR and other state agencies concerned since FY 2011-12.
Of the total, 71 proposals have been accepted so far, he informed. He stated that the foundation prepared a set of budget proposals and sent it to the NBR with the help of allied trade bodies to facilitate the SME enterprises in the country as per SME Policy-2019.
"Some 14 of our proposals have been completely or partially accepted in the proposed budget," said Mr Mafizur Rahman, adding that the SMEF ratified the proposals following meeting with the entrepreneurs.
The accepted proposals are related to tax exemption or reduction on agricultural machinery production and reducing duty on raw materials import.