The country’s hotel and restaurant sector has finally got the status of an industry.
In a statement on Wednesday, Bangladesh Restaurant Owners’ Association said the government had given the recognition and a gazette had already been issued in this regard.
It is a great pleasure and the restaurant sector has taken a step forward with this announcement, said the statement.
“The speedy and permanent implementation of the declaration of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to implement safe food, with the unwavering support of Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun and singular efforts by the ministry’s Secretary Zakia Sultana, has given the restaurant sector the status of an industry,” it read.
Despite playing a significant role in the economy, the hotel and restaurant sector did not have this status earlier, and the restaurant owners’ association had demanded the recognition for a long time.
Imran Hasan, general secretary of the association, said this sector plays a vital role in the economy but has been neglected for decades.
“The new status will enable us to enjoy different facilities, including taking out loans with easy conditions. We will also be able to enjoy electricity, gas, and water tariffs as per industry rates.
“This will create a great impact on food prices while we will be able to focus more on improving food quality,” he added.
The number of restaurants and workers in this sector increased significantly in the last decade due to rapid expansion.
According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the number of restaurants rose to 4.36 lakh in 2019-20, reflecting a 59 per cent increase from a decade ago. The sector employed 22.8 lakh people till 2019-20, up from nine lakh a decade ago.
The sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product was Tk 87,926 crore in the fiscal year 2019-20, up from Tk 11,986 crore in 2009-10, BBS data shows.
Lifestyle changes, increasing mobility, and the demand for dining out are among the key reasons behind this growth, BBS said.