'Interim Support' To Precede Full Package
Thursday, 16 April 2009

The full recovery package for recession-hit export sectors will be announced in the 2009-10 budget, to be placed before parliament by the first half of June, the finance minister said Thursday.

However, the government will announce an "interim support package" on Sunday (Apr 19) to guide exporters and entrepreneurs up to that point, AMA Muhith told reporters after a meeting with a BGMEA delegation.

"The main financial package will be disbursed through the 2009-10 budget, to offset the losses of the recession-hit export sector," he said.

The minister said his government's 'interim support' already included a number of immediate initiatives to combat the negative impacts of the global economic downturn.

These included paying dues in time to those export sectors that get cash incentives, allowing the affected sectors to reschedule loans without any down payment so they do not risk default.

The government has also announced a cut in lending rates, he said.

The interim package to be announced in three days will also include some further measures, said Muhith.

Muhith must finalise his budget plans by the end of May to be ready for presentation in parliament by the first-half of June and approval of the budget the end of June.

Abdus Salam Morshedi, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said his delegation gave some proposals in the meeting.

"We've asked the government for an extra Tk 10 per dollar on 30 percent of our export orders," he told reporters.

Other proposals recommended lowering lending rates to single digits, bringing bank charges down, and introduction of export performance bonuses.

"The finance minister has assured us the government will consider our points," said Morshedi.

He said the global downturn had already begun to cast its shadow on the garment sector, with fewer export orders and a 25-30 percent fall in the prices of exported products.

"We need the recovery package so that we can survive the competition in the global market," he said.

Commerce minister Faruq Khan has hinted that the full bailout package could be worth Tk 2500-3000 crore.

Muhith has also said Bangladesh will seek budgetary support from donors to fight the fallouts of the global recession.

Source: bdnews24.com

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