The Financial Express

ICT sector wants grant, soft loan

Ismail Hossain | Published: March 29, 2020 11:45:12 | Updated: March 31, 2020 09:52:47

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The country's software and information sector has sought a special compensation or grant package for the sector to run their business amid coronavirus outbreak.

They also wanted a special soft loan at a low interest rate for software or information technology (IT) solution exporters.

"We sought government's assistance to cover part of salaries of employees and house rent for the next six months from April," Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) president Syed Almas Kabir.

BASIS sent a written proposal to the ICT division in this connection, he told the FE on Tuesday.

Mr Kabir said they are still assessing how much they would require to overcome the crisis.

"We will come up with another detailed proposal after our assessment and estimation are done," he added.

BASIS is the national association of software and information and communication technology (ICT) firms.

More than 1,000 software and information technology service providers are members of the association.

Mr Kabir said several ongoing projects have already been stopped due to uncertainties arising out of the coronavirus outbreak here.

The domestic ICT sector will be hit hard by the rapid spread of the epidemic across different countries and territories.

"We do not want job cuts in the sector, so financial assistance from the government would keep us afloat," said Mr Kabir.

The government wants to introduce more online-based services in areas like health, entertainment and emergency response during the epidemic.

"BASIS is ready to provide assistance in those areas," Mr Kabir told the FE.

He thinks there will be a new development of automation requirements in every sector once the epidemic is out of the way.

"We want our members get ready for the post-epidemic period," Mr Kabir concluded.


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