Bailout package for fisheries, livestock in a week

Minister Rezaul Karim tells an emergency meeting

bailout package fisheries
File photo shows fishermen on boat catching fish in the river Padma

The government would formulate a bailout package for the fisheries and livestock sectors to help overcome the setback they are facing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“A policy will be formulated within a week,” Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim told an emergency meeting with senior officials in Dhaka on Sunday.

The government has already announced different packages for the industry and agriculture sectors which are facing similar setback due to the ongoing countrywide shutdown enforced to prevent the spread of the notorious virus.  

The minister said short, medium and long-term stimulus packages would be announced to solve the problems of the fisheries, poultry and dairy farms created due to the countrywide shut down amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister informed the meeting that his ministry already sent a letter to the Finance Ministry, requesting a Tk 20 billion stimulus package for the fisheries and livestock sectors and give soft loans to the affected farms.

Besides, a US$ 100 million proposal is set to be sent to the World Bank to consider for the sectors as an emergency response, he added.

Officials said the ministry is considering providing interest waiver on bank loans and financial assistance for buying feeds and paying workers so that they could continue production despite the difficulties due to the ongoing shutdown.

The ministry has also installed a hotline (02-9122557) at its control room to know the problems being faced by the fish farmers.

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