COVID-19: Navana seeks BDT 1,200 crore bailout from govt

- A Monitor Desk Report 28 May, 2020 | 651 Views|-+
Dhaka: The renowned industrial conglomerate Navana Group has sought BDT 1,200 crore in financial assistance from the government to bail it out from the current economic crisis caused by the countrywide lockdown following the coronavirus pandemic.

About eight thousand employees of the group are yet to get their salaries for April.

Saiful Islam, Senior Vice Chairman of Navana Group, sent a letter to the senior secretary of the finance ministry on May 10, stating that the coronavirus outbreak has stopped production of their companies for over a month, throwing the group into a severe liquidity crisis.

In the letter, Navana also mentioned that it wants four state-owned banks – Agrani, Janata, Rupali and Sonali – to take over its loans worth around BDT 4,000 crore with around four dozen private lenders.

"We have paid our employees their salaries for March from our own funds. But we could not pay them for April owing to severe liquidity crisis owing to a halt in our business operation," the group said in the letter.

In this context, the group has requested the finance ministry to give it BDT 1,200 crore in working capital from the BDT 30,000 crore stimulus package the government has announced at 4.5 per cent interest.

Over the years, Navana Group has diversified its business from construction to automobile, industrial equipment, battery, real estate, electrical and electronics, furniture, food, medical equipment, petroleum product, oil and gas, plastic and renewable energy.

Besides, the group has requested the finance ministry to send an instruction to the state-owned banks to take over its existing loans at 9 per cent interest.

In reference to the recommendations, the ministry has sent a letter to the central bank to send an instruction relating to the restructuring of Navana's loans with private banks. The Bangladesh Bank had fixed a meeting on March 24 with those private banks but the meeting had to be postponed for the virus outbreak.

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