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Clothing sector upset with power & gas crisis
May '11
The Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) leaders recently stated that, Bangladesh's biggest export oriented garment industry is experiencing severe power and gas crunch, which is decelerating production.

Owing to the gas and power crisis, several factories have been lying inoperative for long, which may affect their growth prospects, the BGMEA leaders said.

The garment industry each day requires around 710 megawatt (MW) of power. However, units in the industry have been experiencing power outages of five hours per day.

BGMEA President Md Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin stated that, the gas and power crunch has forced the industry to adapt to use of diesel, following which the industry used 245 million litres of diesel last year, which resulted in a loss of Tk 7600 million.

The garment units in the EPZ accounted for just eight percent of the country's total garment export, while those outside EPZ contributed the rest 92 percent, the BGMEA head said, and called upon the government to ensure uninterrupted power and gas supply for garment units outside EPZ, just like the garment units in the EPZ are enjoying at present.

He claimed that, if the government ensures continuous gas and power supply and other logistic support for the garment industry, the sector's exports have a tendency to cross the US$40 billion mark, soon.

Further while ruling out the requirement of the foreign direct investment in the sector he said that, the garment sector is a boon for Bangladesh and they with local entrepreneurs have the potential to manage it by themselves. However, he stressed on up-gradation of the backward linkage industries.

On providing better facilities to garment workers he said that, they take workers as their partners, and thus, invoked the government to introduce rationing system and provide interest-free loans to construct dormitory for workers.

The BGMEA head has put forth some suggestions before the government which includes making provision for effective power and gas supply, developing the Dhaka-Chittagong highway, subsidising diesel and furnace oil, annulling 15 percent value added tax (VAT) on rent of small and medium sized garment units, renovation of Chittagong Port and reduction in charges at ports.

He also recommended that the government should reduce the bank interest rates, impart training to the workers and develop the Fashion Institute into a University.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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