Shipbuilding industry faces setbacks
A short supply of gas and electricity is among the major hindrances to development of the country's shipbuilding industry although it has already attracted buyers far from Europe, according to a report.
The report submitted recently to the Ministry of Commerce by a committee formed to review the problems and prospects of the shipbuilding industry pointed to the problem.
The committee, led by Director General of the Export Promotion Bureau Md Khalilur Rahman, in its report said the existing ban on import of rail and sheet-pile is also obstructing shipbuilding in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Railway has imposed the ban.
About infrastructure development, high foreshore charges and charges on erected installations such as service jetty and in some cases duplicate charges are also hindering efforts of the sector entrepreneurs.
It said absence of backward linkage industries delays delivery of ships apart from raising production cost.
The report mentioned that lack of research and development also hampers technological development to stay afloat in the competitive global ship market. “Lack of design firms and expertise in design are also impediments to high value added products,” the report said.
It also criticised the import policy and foreign currency regulation import on CIF.
The report said shipbuilding industry needs a lot of components, parts, and accessories, dearth of which often leads to emergency imports during the construction period. “The existing facilities are not adequate for emergency import requirement,” it pointed out.
The report mentioned that compliance issues are not properly followed in the shipbuilding industry.
In the human resource development segment, it pointed out that the existing course curricula of the universities and technical and vocational institutes do not match with the requirements of heavy industries at large and the shipbuilding industry in particular.
“The number of graduates, skilled supervisors, foremen, specialised welders, fitters and other technical skills which are required for shipbuilding and allied industries are far from the minimum requirement,” according to the report.
It said a substantial number of skilled manpower leaves the country for overseas jobs, as there is inadequate number of shipyards in the country.
“The existing technical institutions are less capable of producing the required number of skilled manpower that can be employed in the shipbuilding industry,” the report said.