BNP: It’s a ‘loan package,’ not stimulus

Fakhrul made the remarks through an online press briefing on the prime minister’s press conference

Political opposition BNP described the prime minister’s stimulus plan of Tk72,750 crore as a package of loan, and added that the government ignored those involved in the informal sector of the economy by not announcing any grant for them.

“We could have said the prime minister’s response positive had she taken initiatives to resolve the main problem. There’s nothing (incentive package) for the common people who belong to the informal sector, the starving, working class and the farmers,” he said, reports UNB.

The BNP leader further said: “It seems to me the stimulus package of Tk72,750 crore was given only to create a good impression among people with the size of the money.”

“The fact is that the whole amount is nothing but a loan. There’s no grant from the government. It’s a loan package of Tk72,750 crore.”

Fakhrul made the remarks through an online press briefing on the prime minister’s press conference.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced four new stimulus packages of Tk67,750 crore to overcome the possible economic shock from the ongoing shutdown enforced due to the deadly COVID-19 outbreak. With the previously announced Tk5,000 crore stimulus package, the amount of the whole package now stands at Tk72,750 crore.

Earlier on Saturday, BNP demanded the government form a special fund of Tk87,000 crore to tackle the impact of the coronavirus on the country’s economy

Fakhrul said they urged the government to give a grant of Tk 15,000 crore for the poor and those hand to mouth. “We also called upon the government to raise allowances of the doctors and nurses and give them an incentive for the health sector. But the Prime Minister didn’t pay heed to it.”

He also said many poor people and day-laborers and those involved in the informal sector are passing through a critical time without any income or job.

The BNP leader said the expatriate Bangladeshis who send remittance to the country have also been left out of the incentive package.

He alleged that the Prime Minister neglected the health sector in terms of announcing stimulus package though this sector should now be modernized with necessary equipment and ventilators to provide proper treatment to the virus infected people.

The BNP leader said: “I think a complete lockdown is now the only option, but the government can’t realize what a deadly situation the country is going to face. The number of cases doubled on Sunday from Saturday.”

Referring to media reports, Fakhrul said people are not getting treatment at the country’s 87% hospitals for different diseases, but the government is not looking into the matter to address the matter.

Trashing the allegations of the ruling party leaders that BNP leaders are not staying besides people, he said their party leaders and activists at all unions, villages and upazilas across the country are providing people food and other assistance and relief materials as per their ability.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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