Dhaka, Friday, 23 July 2021

BGMEA election: Sammilita Parishad unveils manifesto  

BGMEA election: Sammilita Parishad unveils manifesto

Apparel Correspondent: The Sammilita Parishad will prioritise market diversification and innovation by adopting the latest technology to help the apparel sector recover from the COVID-19 impact, panel leader Faruque Hassan said at the capital’s Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel recently.

He made the pledges while unveiling the election manifesto of the panel for the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) election for the 2021-23 term.

Faruque Hassanread out the manifesto that said initiatives will be taken for short-term, medium-term and long-term projects to address the COVID-19 crisis. Short-term and long-term policy assistance will be offered to the government to identify the losses of the industry and address them. Besides, the deadline for the payment of incentives for industrial recovery will be extended. In the readymade garments (RMG) industry, a proposal will be submitted to the government to increase the loan repayment period from 18 months and reduce the instalment size.

In the manifesto, Faruque Hassan also said, initiatives will be taken to expand the new market. Incentives for garment exports to new markets will be raised from 4 to 5 per cent. Participation of BGMEA members in important fairs will be ensured in potential new markets in different countries like South Korea, Japan, Russia, Latin America, and India. The Sammilita Parishad will work to ensure duty-free export of our garments to the Middle East and Africa. BGMEA and Customs Bond Commissionerate (CBC) will try to resolve the issue quickly by forming ajoint committee.

In this regard, a joint committee comprising officials of BGMEA and CBC will be formed to try to solve the regular problems of the RMG sector as soon as possible. Besides, a cell will be formed to take initiative to stop all customs-related problems. The cell will be monitored by a BGMEA vice-president and a director to improve customs standards.

To expedite the delayed export activities caused during the unloading of imported goods and subsequent audit activities, arrangements will be made for consultation with the concerned policymakers and necessary policy revisions will be taken. Initiatives will be taken to introduce automation in import and export audit activities.

Steps will be taken to remove the complexity of sample clearing and make sure of the simplification of the export process using automation. The arrangement will be taken for the appointment of a government-approved liquidator agent. Attempts will be taken to fix the time limit for disposal of cases in the Money Loan Court (Artha Rin Adalat) within three months. A realistic committee will be formed through successful discussions with the government through FBCCI, BKMEA and other business organizations. Moreover, an owners’ welfare fund will be formed.

Activities will be taken for the development of small and medium industries. The annual export of small and medium enterprises will be increased from a minimum of $5 million to $10 million, through which it will be possible to bring more organizations under the incentive facility. Appropriate definition and inclusion of small and medium RMG industry under government financing scheme will be clarified so that small and medium RMG industry can avail loan facility at 4 to 5 per cent interest rate.

Low-interest loans from banks

Policy support from the government and the central bank will seek to reduce interest rates and banking charges for small and medium RMG industries through fair banking policies.

Faruque Hassan said that there is an image crisis in the global apparel market. Enhancing it will be my main focus. Besides, every effort will be made to increase exports.

Regarding the retrenchment of workers, Faruque Hassan said, “If we can increase our exports and get more government's support, the incidence of retrenchment will decrease.”

Md Siddiqur Rahman, former president of BGMEA, said the main point of the manifesto is to take the RMG industry forward by tackling any problems with the cooperation of all.

Former President of BGMEA and also Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin MP said Rana Plaza tragedy and the Tazreen Fashion factory fire and other accidents happened during the tenure of Sammilita Parishad. But we have dealt with them with courage and determination.

Former president of BGMEA Abdus Salam Murshedy said, “In my long experience, I can say the present Sammilita Parishad includes experienced team members which are needed to face the current crisis in the RMG sector.”