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Official apathy puts 'Garment Village' on the backburner

Jan '07
The proposed garment village at Munsiganj to accommodate apparel manufacturing units that comply with global factory laws and standards has been shelved for over a year due to lack of government's seriousness, industry people said.

The delay has frustrated the apparel makers and exporters, who feel that indecision about the proposed textile park will blur the future of Bangladesh's garment exports as competing countries are hastily implementing a lot of such parks to lure global buyers, who look for fully compliant factories.

The plan was conceived in December 2005 and the apparel industry association in April 2006 found out a 300-acre char land at Gazaria of Munshiganj, about 37 kilometres northeast off the capital.

Accordingly, state-run Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) prepared a development project proposal for the textile park with an estimated cost of Tk 310 crore (about $45 million). Of the amount, Tk 186 crore was expected as foreign loans or grants. The project was supposed to be completed by June 2009.

But the project failed to get approval from the Planning Commission even though it has been incorporated in the annual development programme of the current fiscal year.

BSCIC chairman SR Osmany said the project proposal of the garment park had been sent to the Planning Commission months back.

'We are awaiting the approval from ECNEC,' said the chief of the corporation, the designated implementing agency of the park.

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