Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced a Tk 5 billion incentive for export industries in a bid to tackle the impact of coronavirus on the country’s economy.
In her televised speech addressing the nation on Wednesday (Mar 25), she said that the money can be distributed only as salaries and allowances for the employees and workers of the industries.
She said that Bangladesh Bank has adopted several business-friendly initiatives which include not naming anyone loan defaulters and extending timelines to realize export earnings to six months from two and to meet import expenses to six months from four.
Hasina urged those who are well-off to come forward to help those with lower incomes.
With numerous countries going into lockdown to battle the pandemic, the prime minister in her speech outlined the measures taken by her administration to contain Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus strain.
The government measures included suspension of all types of public transports, ensuring no shortage of essential goods in the markets, keeping Bangladesh Bank operations running in a limited manner.
Also, the government is prepared to accommodate 100,000 people with employment opportunities in Bhashan Char, if they want to move there, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that the government's VGD, BGF and selling rice at Tk10 per kg programs will continue too. “Medicine and healthcare service are being provided at free of cost.”
She urged the expatriates who returned from coronavirus-affected countries to follow government directives accordingly, including remaining in home quarantine and self-isolation.
"Stay in isolation for 14 days only. It is essential to follow the directives to save lives of your family members, neighbours, locals and overall the countrymen.
"Do not leave home unless it's an emergency,” she urged the people.
The prime minister also requested all Muslims to offer prayers and people of other faiths to perform all religious activities at home for the time being, instead of the places of worship.
She warned that the authorities will take immediate stern action against anyone for spreading rumour over the coronavirus crisis.