THE central bank has taken a fresh move to revamp the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector. Thus, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Dr. Salehuddin Ahmed announced a number of initiatives recently in line with the government's move to establish a foundation of SMEs. One of the key objectives of such initiatives is to ensure easy access to finance for the SMEs.
The BB governor said all-out efforts would be given by the country's banking sector for supporting the growth of the SMEs. Here, the need for insurance coverage for the SMEs does also merit attention. The banks do not take the risk of lending the SMEs as the enterprises cannot afford to continue insurance premium.
We are happy that the governor said all-out supports will be there for the SMEs. Lower rate of premium would encourage the SMEs to get the insurance coverage and facilitate them to get bank loans. Things would be easier once the SME Foundation is established. All existing SMEs should be made members of the Foundation.
In recent times, both the government and the development partners have been concentrating their efforts on development of the SMEs for employment generation and poverty alleviation. An SME policy has already been in place and multilateral lenders have extended financial supports meant for assisting small and medium ventures. We hope the Foundation would really help in promoting the growth and expansion of the SMEs.
We know that for a long time South Asia Enterprise Development Facility (SEDF), an organisation of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank, has been working in Bangladesh for supporting the growth of SMEs. But we do not know what actually it has done so far. We think the proposed SME Foundation can work with the SEDF and all other concerned in a concerted way.