Garment manufacturing units in Bangladesh are now entitled to take soft loans from the Government in improving their workers’ safety (health, safety and hygiene) at workplace to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was announced by the central bank (Bangladesh Bank or BB) on Thursday.
According to reports, each garment factory will – eligibility criteria includes companies owning a RMG factory but not the building where the factory is located, companies having ownership of both RMG factory and the building where the factory is located, and the owners of buildings where at least one RMG factory is located will get loans from the fund – get loans of up to €1 million at 7 per cent interest rate.
It may be mentioned here that in March 2019, the Government formed a €50 million fund, sponsored by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) to give out the low-cost loans for garment factory remediation with the aim to enhance workplace safety.
The initial objective of the same was to provide funds to apparel factories for safety retrofits and environmental upgradation.
As per the BB notice (Bangladesh Bank will play the role of the implementing agency for the fund, formed with soft loans from the AFD), industries from now on would be allowed to use a part of their loans in the fight against the pandemic (COVID-19).