Business associations in Cox's Bazar demanded a special incentive package in order to overcome the crises in the tourism sector of the country which emerged due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The associations also spoke for effective implementation of the government announced incentive package through banks so that local small entrepreneurs can take advantage of those incentive packages.
The Cox's Bazar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Cox's Bazar Hotel Owners' Association, District Restaurant Owners' Association, Dry Fish Producers' Association, Salt Mill Owners' Association, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs' Foundation and other business organisations demanded that in a webinar on Saturday.
Md Abu Murshed Chowdhury, president of Cox's Bazar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, moderated the discussion.
Helal Uddin, senior secretary at local government ministry, Md Kamal Hossain, deputy commissioner of Cox's Bazar, Md Mahbub Alam, president of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, executive director of COAST Trust spoke at the webinar, among others.
Helal Uddin said that Cox's Bazar has a tourism based economy which is closed now because of the Covid-19 crises, and so we could resume all business activities following health hygiene rules.
Deputy Commissioner Md Kamal Hossain said that
about 300,000 people involved in the tourism sector got unemployed at the moment. We are thinking about their livelihood, we can talk to the banks so that they can collaborate with small entrepreneurs and they can start businesses, he added.
Abu Murshed Chowdhury discussed the details of the incentive package of the government and placed a seven-point demand that included an announcement of a special incentive package for the tourism sector in Cox's Bazar.
It also included protecting the salt farmers and forming a salt development board, lifting the lockdown and allowing economic activities and businesses especially opening hotels, restaurants and airlines maintaining health rules.
He also mentioned that the payment of VAT and utility bill to be withheld for a substantial period, a chilling centre should be established for dairy farmers and international markets should be explored to strengthen shrimp export, so that shrimp hatcheries can run sustainably.