The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) has urged the central bank and government not to raise interest rates on bank loans for the sake of the entrepreneurs amid the ongoing financial predicament.
"The higher interest rates on bank loans will negatively affect the entrepreneurs and create more loan defaulters as the prices of raw materials, shipping, and transportation have already been increased due to the Russia-Ukraine war," said FBCCI President Md Jashim Uddin during the maiden meeting of the organisation's Standing Committee on Banking and Leasing held at the FBCCI office in the capital on Saturday.
He suggested reducing costs along with making banking services more effective to solve the current dollar crisis, according to a press release.
FBCCI Senior Vice-President and Director of the committee Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu said the whole world is going through economic vulnerability due to Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war.
"Shortage of electricity and gas is hampering the businesses. Legitimate businessmen are becoming loan defaulters as they cannot produce and import at full capacity," he said, calling for policy support to continue industrial production.
FBCCI Vice-President Md Amin Helaly said a balanced distribution of US dollars in internal consumption and import of essential and regular goods would have helped solve the current dollar crisis.
"Small and medium businesses are suffering more due to the dollar crisis," said FBCCI Vice-President and Co-chairman of the committee Salahuddin Alamgir.
He suggested a sector-wise exchange rate and a strong position of the central bank by identifying the banks responsible for the crisis.
Providing benefits to leasing companies, facilitating bank loans for women entrepreneurs, and a short, medium and long-term work plan to solve the power crisis were demanded in the open discussion at the meeting.
AKM Shaheed Reza, chairman of the committee and former director of FBCCI, presided over the meeting.