Bangladesh approves new COVID-19 stimulus packages for small businesses, low-income communities

DHAKA (XINHUA) – The Bangladeshi government approved two new COVID-19 stimulus packages of BDT27 billion to support small and medium enterprises and low-income communities.

Bangladesh’s Ministry of Finance in a statement said on Sunday the implementation of the new packages will begin shortly.

Bangladesh earlier approved 21 stimulus packages. With the addition of these two new packages, the total number of COVID-19 stimulus packages in the country stood at 23 with an overall outlay of BDT1.24 trillion which is 4.44 per cent of GDP.

Bangladeshi Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the new stimulus packages, approved by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, would help small businesses as well as low-income communities affected by the COVID-19.

The size of the freshly approved first stimulus package is BDT15 billion and out of this amount, BDT3 billion will reportedly be given to the Small and Medium Enterprises Foundation for expanding its operations meant for the cottage and small organisations alongside facilitating the female entrepreneurs.

The size of the fresh second stimulus package is BDT12 billion and it will be spent for bringing the poor people, widows and husband-abandoned women of some 150 upazilas (subdistrict) under the government allowances in the next fiscal year.