The Ministry of Finance has disbursed Tk1,000 crore for the implementation of an incentive package, focusing on the job creation for locals and returning expatriates who became unemployed amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Finance Division disbursed Tk250 crore each to three specialised state-owned banks – Karmasangsthan Bank, Probashi Kallyan Bank and Palli Sanchay Bank – and the Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) on Thursday.
On May this year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced the Tk2,000 crore incentive package to be disbursed through these four institutions, and each of them will get Tk500 crore to disburse as loans. The money was allocated in the national budget for this specific purpose.
A finance ministry official, seeking anonymity, told the Business Standard, "The government was trying to implement the package with a loan from the Asian Development Bank.
"But facing concerns that the process could take more than six months, the ministry has opted to disburse the fund from the budget allocation."
Meanwhile, Probashi Kallyan Bank's Managing Director Mahtab Jabin said, "I have yet to receive any letter mentioning the release of the fund. Workers need to be trained first, because they used to perform different jobs under different employers during their time abroad.
"They will now become small entrepreneurs. So, they will need proper training."
Palli Sanchay Bank's Managing Director Akbar Hossain said, "Half of the Tk500 crore allocation will be disbursed to the old clients, so that they can recoup the losses suffered because of the pandemic. The rest will be disbursed to new clients.
"We have made all necessary preparations regarding the process. But we have not yet received any letter from the Finance Division regarding the disbursement of funds.