Ibrahim Hossain Ovi
The country’s apparel and textile manufacturers further asked the government to provide fresh loans at 2 per cent to pay worker wages and bonus for the months of April, May and June and bonus on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.
In face of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March last year, the government offered a package of Tk 5,000 crore loans at 2 per cent for the country’s export-oriented sectors including RMG and leather to pay workers’ wages for four months to combat the impact of the virus.
In a letter placed to the finance ministry, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association made the appeal on Sunday.
In its first board meeting on Saturday with new president Faruque Hassan in the chair, the board of directors of BGMEA placed the demands explaining the sector's present status. Later, the board agreed and decided to appeal to the government for fund to pay workers’ wages.
“Exporters are facing fund shortage due to deferred payment, work order cancellation and rise of raw material prices. Entrepreneurs are taking the work orders even incurring losses just to retain the buyers and brands and to pay workers’ wages,” BGMEA president Faruque Hassan told The Business Post.
“Work orders are not enough to run the factories with full capacity. In the given context, for the sake of workers as well as the sector, we need financial support,” said Hassan, also managing director of Giant Group.
Meanwhile, BGMEA vice-president Shaidullah Azim also said that the exports mostly small and medium are suffering fund crunch as they are going through tough times due to the ongoing pandemic.
For helping the recovery of the export sector, it is very essential and I hope the government will consider it, said Azim.
“In the countries competing Bangladesh, exporters are getting stimulus packages to fight the fallout of the pandemic. So, the government should provide funds,” explained Azim.
He also said the fund will directly go to the accounts of workers through the mobile financial services and it is only for the workers’ wages.
Meanwhile, BTMA president Mohammad Ali Khokon also confirmed the Business Post about the fresh loans for paying the workers’ wages.