Bangladesh Chamber of Industries (BCI) has demanded an increase in immediate supply of adequate dollars to facilitate the import of industrial raw materials.
The board of directors of the sole chamber in the industrial sector made the demand when a delegation of the BCI, led by its president Anwar-ul Alam Chowdhury (Parvez), met Bangladesh Bank governor Abdur Rauf Talukder at the central bank on Sunday.
The BCI leaders said that at present, the sales of all organisations have dropped due to high inflation in the country, high interest rates on loans, and an increase in electricity and gas prices, and no organisation can run at its full capacity. With high interest rates on loans, banks are turning to invest in bonds.
They said the challenge now is the survival of the industrial institutions in the current situation.
In the case of industrial raw material import, the industries are unable to open the letter of credit (LC) with banks due to dollar crisis.
They have to open LC at a much higher rate than the rate determined by the Bangladesh Bank.
The BCI leaders also noted that cash incentives provided by the government to encourage export-oriented industries are not being paid on time.
As a result, it is becoming difficult for industries to pay their taxes on time.
If the cash incentives are not released on time, the industries are not able to pay the salaries of their employees on time.
The BCI leaders demanded the cash incentives be released in an expedited manner.
They said that in case of previous exports it takes 4-5 weeks to get acceptance and LC maturing thereby increasing their liability.
In the current situation, they said the SME sector is facing the most losses.
The BCI demanded the government make arrangements to sustain the SME sector.
Senior vice-president of BCI, Preeti Chakraborty, vice-president Mohammad Yunus, directors Ranjan Chowdhury, Dr. Delwar Hossain Raja, Abul Kalam Bhiya, Zia Haider Mithu, Mizanur Rahman, Ruslan Nasir, Sohana Rauf Chowdhury, Md Salim Jahan, Md Mahfuzur Rahman were meeting while Deputy Governors of Bangladesh Bank Abu Farah Md Nasser and Norun Nahar and director of Foreign Exchange Policy Department Md Sarwar Hossain attended it.