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The Financial Express

Ministry prods SoBs over virus stimulus packages

FE REPORT | Published: June 06, 2020 09:32:51 | Updated: June 07, 2020 15:45:19


Ministry prods SoBs over virus stimulus packages

The ministry of finance (MoF) has asked the state-owned banks (SoBs) to expedite steps to implement the stimulus packages that the government announced to help recoup the impacts of Covid-19 pandemic on the trade and industry.

The financial institutions division of the ministry asked the chief executives of the SoBs to discuss the circulars issued by Bangladesh Bank (BB) in their respective board of directors for proper implementation of the packages, according to a letter issued on Tuesday.

"…the banks should take steps for digital wallet/apps-based banking services to maintain social distance due to the Covid-19 linked situations," it said.

As the shutdown of businesses after coronavirus outbreak at home and abroad severely affected the economy, the government announced around Tk 1.0 trillion packages, most of which will be implemented by the banks under the central bank's guidance.

The BB has already issued a number of circulars detailing the guidelines for the implementation of the packages. It advised the bank managements and board of directors to remain actively engaged in the execution process of the stimulus packages.

The letter also asked the bank managements to discuss the selection of affected person/business units, interest calculation, financing source, loan tenure, the role of managing director in loan disbursement under bank-client relationship, and loan approval process in the meeting of the board of directors so that they stay informed and could contribute.

It also suggested introducing 'one stop service' and disbursing loans to farmers and rural entrepreneurs through mobile financial services.

The letter mentioned that maintaining social distance in this Covid-19 period has become very important to help prevent further spread of the virus.

If apps/wallet-based service is introduced, the customers would not have to visit bank branches physically and thus would be able to avoid contagion.

"The banks can provide services by introducing modern technology-based products in line with the customers' demand," the letter mentioned.

syful-islam@outlook.com

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