The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) yesterday suggested creating a specialised bank or fund to greatly help cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) get over the pandemic-induced losses alongside formulating an act enabling their development.
"Local industrialisation should be emphasised to obtain an increased export target of $40 billion by 2030. The (small-sized enterprises) can truly add value to the neighborhood industry," explained DCCI President Rizwan Rahman.
The small-scale firms generate 80 % of professional employment and 45 per cent of the production sector's value addition, he told a press conference at the DCCI auditorium in the capital's Motijheel.
Regarding two new government stimulus packages including Tk 2,700 crore for small-sized businesses, Rahman explained only 54.13 % of the first Tk 20,000-crore stimulus package announced in March last year was disbursed as of December.
Entrepreneurs of such little undertakings are unable to properly complete documentation procedures, he noted, hoping that Bangladesh Bank will make the conditions more flexible for disbursement of such stimulus loans.
Suggesting that the SME Base and Palli Karma-Sahayak Basis jointly prepare a database, he stated the DCCI was thinking about providing skill-development training to these entities.
The chamber also suggested formulating a thorough policy framework redefining businesses, bringing ease in usage of finance via an SME bond and introducing an online trade licencing system because of their financial inclusion.
Rahman said Bangladesh will have to explore new Asian marketplaces as 81 per cent of the country's exports were destined for Western countries that have been severely influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He thinks the crisis would keep on with this year and there is even a opportunity of the market suffering until next time.
He also recommended providing all investment-related public products and services through the online One-Stop Service system of the Bangladesh Investment Production Authority, pointing out that the DCCI had been providing two products and services through it.
He suggested enabling low-cost investment and financing for the exclusive sector to carefully turn Bangladesh right into a lucrative vacation spot for relocation of labour intensive sectors from China, Japan and South Korea.
Once Bangladesh may make the United Nations status graduation from least developed to growing country after 2027, it'll lose particular and differential treatments supplied by the World Trade Organization, said Rahman.
The country may also face yet another 6.7 % tariff in exports and 27 compliance conventions stipulated in the European Union's scheme of Generalized System of Preferences Plus meant for growing countries, he added.
Bangladesh needs to immediately start developing skills to handle the global competition only a small amount time was obtainable, he said.
He claimed that Bangladesh's corporate tax fee of 32.5 per cent was the highest on earth as the global average was only 23.79 %.
He demanded a gradual reduction to the price by 5 percentage details in fiscal 2021-22, 7 in 2022-23 and 10 in 2023-24.
There could be conditions stipulating that tax cuts here have to be invested in skills production, infrastructure funds, research expansion and the bond market, he noted.
He as well demanded imposing a good VAT predicated on value addition or income instead of twelve-monthly turnovers.
Now 38.6 per cent of graduates are unemployed, claimed the DCCI president, apprehending that around 55 people would lose their jobs by 2041 due to the emergence of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).
Rahman stressed on the need for facilitating cluster creation of forward and backward industries in specialised monetary zones with focus on uninterrupted and competitively-priced utility, telecommunication and transport solutions.
He sees an excellent future of e-commerce found in Bangladesh, saying that around 10 crore persons were using the web and annual market sales amounted to $2 billion.
According to him, about 9.78 crore persons transact around Tk 50,000 crore monthly through mobile banking companies, that was proving beneficial when it comes to digital engagement.
He also recommended to provide fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for the adoption of 4IR technologies in businesses in addition to tax rebates on spending for need-based training and skills advancement programmes.
This will build the digital infrastructure for increasing digital competitiveness, he said.
NKA Mobin, senior DCCI vice president, Monowar Hossain, vice president, and directors Md Shahid Hossain, Golam Zilani, Hossain A Sikder and Nasiruddin A Ferdous were present.