Let us reopen factories: FBCCI urges govt
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) today urged the government to allow them to reopen all factories including export-oriented industries, citing that export might suffer severely for the continued restriction.
The apex trade body made the call at a meeting with Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam where leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and Bangladesh Textiles Mills Association were present.
Manufacturing activities have been shut owing to restrictions to contain the spike of coronavirus infection and as a result, the supply chain is at risk of breaking down, FBCCI President Md Jashim Uddin said at the meeting.
He said both the producers and consumers are suffering directly and indirectly.
The FBCCI president also said the resumption of factories has become urgent as the factories such as processing and pharmaceuticals are encountering difficulties in getting packaging and wrapping materials for their products.
"We also have a target to achieve US$51 billion this fiscal year," he said.
Bangladesh logged $38.75 billion in export in the previous fiscal year 2020-21, posting 15 per cent growth year on year, data by Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) showed.
At the meeting, garments exporters also requested the government to allow them to reopen factories immediately since the ongoing lockdown creates several problems including getting fresh orders for the coming season.
The current lockdown imposed on July 23 to contain the covid-19 pandemic has also created difficulties for manufacturers in taking delivery of import containers from ports, raising concerns about increased congestion there, said exporters.
"We have requested the government for permitting us to reopen factories as soon as possible. We want to start vaccination in factories," said BGMEA President Faruque Hassan after the meeting.
Entrepreneurs said reopening of industries is necessary to ensure vaccination of workers in the biggest export-oriented sector, bringing more than 80 per cent of exports earnings.
Workers many workers have gone home to celebrate the Eid-ul-Azha holidays with their families, he said adding that if everything including all the factories is reopened on the same day, August 6, after the end of the lockdown, there will be a transport crisis for the influx of people.
So a plan is required ahead to ensure their smooth return and reopening of everything, he said.
At the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam assured to place the issue of factory reopening to the high-ups of the government.