Wednesday, July 24, 2019 | ePaper

Save the textile industry

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DUE to smuggling of foreign yarn and fabrics into the country and misuse of bonded warehouse facility, textile millers are losing business worth more than $6 billion annually in the domestic market. The sector is facing a survival crisis as the spinning and weaving mills are sitting on stockpiles of yarn due to lack of demand for local items. Apart from it, high interest rate of bank loans and increased price of gas are also decreasing the competitiveness of the sector. If the government fails to address the crisis immediately, it will permanently shut the domestic textile millers.
The domestic demand for fabrics is 7 to 8 billion metres, of which local manufacturers can provide only 3 to 4 billion metres and the rest of the demand is met by smuggled fabrics and bonded warehouse fabrics. The commercial import of yarn and fabrics was very negligible but more than 50 per cent of the local demand worth more than $6 billion was being met by foreign items. The deteriorating condition pushes more than 40 per cent of spinning and weaving mills to suspend operation. Besides, huge quantity of dresses including saris, three-pieces and other shirting clothes are entering into Bangladesh illegally through the borders from neighbouring countries and the items are being brought to the Dhaka city that ultimately push out local products.
The textile and clothing industries provide the single source of growth in the country's rapidly developing economy. Not only that, export of textiles is also a good source of foreign exchange earnings. But for the abuse of bonded warehouse facility, smuggling, and government apathy, the country's once rising textile sector is now nose-diving. We urge the government to take stringent measures in the border to reduce smuggling of clothes. The government also must enforce strong monitoring to bring discipline in the bonded warehouses. If the textile millers run with lose, surely all of them would be forced to stop their business which will ultimately raise the number of unemployment.    

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