Garment exporters seek Tk6,000cr from govt to pay workers
BI Report || BusinessInsider
A file photo shows employees working inside a garment factory on the outskirts of Dhaka. Photo: UNB
The country’s garment exporters have demanded stimulus fund amounting to Tk6,000 crore from the government to pay workers’ salary and bonuses for April-June period amid the latest wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
A three-member delegation, led by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan placed the demand in a meeting with Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam on Tuesday.
“As the export proceeds are still stuck for many garments, we requested the government to provide us with loan to pay three months’ worker salary,” Faruque told the Business Insider Bangladesh.
He said the BGMEA did not provide any exact amount for loan sanction rather preferred the government to pay the salary to the workers accounts directly.
Cabinet Division sources, however, told the Business Insider Bangladesh that the amount is nearly Tk6,000 crore.
Last year, the government provided Tk10,500 crore in stimulus funds to the export-oriented garment, leather and footwear sectors for the payment of salaries and allowances at 2 per cent service charge.
The garment sector has been going through a tough time as many of the major export destinations in Europe and the US were in lockdown because of the pandemic.
The country’s export earnings fell by 0.12 per cent to $28.93 billion In the July-March period of the current financial year 2020-21 from $28.97 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
The earnings, however, grew by 12.59 per cent year-on-year in March 2021, riding on an increased shipment of readymade garments as the exports started recovering from the damages caused by the pandemic.