Many employees who have been working in different shops in the upazila are also struggling to pay back loans as their owners are closing shops gradually
Due to the coronavirus, locals of Kashiani upazila in Gopalganj district have limited their movement in local markets. Small business owners in the upazila are suffering from lack of customers which has affected their daily income heavily.
However, without taking the situation into consideration, non-government organization (NGO) representatives are pressing those businessmen in the upazila to pay the instalments on the loans they have taken, placing a heavy burden on them.
Many employees who have been working in different shops in the upazila are also struggling to pay back loans as their owners are closing shops gradually.
According to sources, as many as 13 NGOs including Brac and Grameen Bank have microcredit programs in the upazila.
NGO representatives are frequently visiting shops and homes to collect on loan repayment instalments.
Hardware businessman Rokibul Islam said: "Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the number of cutomers has substantially decreased in the market which has affected our daily income. We are feeling the burden of paying back loan installments."
Shikha Begum, who lives in Ghonapara village in the upazila said: "My husband would work in a shop that deals with decorating homes. But, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the owner closed the shop, rendering my husband jobless. As a result, we have been suffering to pay the loan instalments."
This correspondent contacted several NGO representatives for comment, but they refused to say anything.
Contacted, Kashiani Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Sabbir Ahmed said: "We have not received any directives to stop the collection of loan pay back instalments, but I will talk to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) in this regard."