Accessories makers ask for cash incentives

Garment accessories makers yesterday demanded cash incentives on exports in the upcoming budget, saying they are contributing to almost all export-oriented sectors.

The accessories makers are not under the government's incentive policy although the garment sector has been enjoying such benefits for a long time, said Rafez Alam Chowdhury, president of Bangladesh Garments Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

The leaders of the association demanded the incentive at a pre-budget meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith at his secretariat in Dhaka. However, Chowdhury did not mention how much cash incentive they want. Garment exporters now enjoy 5 percent incentive on their exports.

The accessories makers have increased their capacities and are able to meet the demand of garment exporters almost entirely, he said. Previously, the demand for such accessories was met through imports, he added.

In the plastic sector, accessories makers supply 39 kinds of materials; in the garment sector, they can supply 48 types of products such as poly bags, hangers, plastic clips, buttons, button tags and zippers, Chowdhury added.

He also urged the finance minister to allocate funds to facilitate the establishment of a packaging and accessories institution for skills development.

The association also demanded a loan rescheduling facility, as the country's exports were affected by prolonged political unrest at the beginning of the year.

The government should also maintain the current rate of tax at source at 0.3 percent for the next five years so that the export-oriented sectors are not affected, Chowdhury said.

He urged the government to grant a down payment option in loan rescheduling for all export-oriented sectors, just like the facility given by the government to borrowers of Tk 500 crore or more.

Muhith said he might not give any stimulus package to any sector in the upcoming budget.

But after the budget is placed in parliament on June 4, an inter-ministerial decision will be taken on the stimulus package issue through consultations with government high-ups and sector people.


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