319 garment factories to be closed in Bangladesh

DHAKA: Bangladesh, the world’s second largest exporter of apparels of western brands, will close 319 more garment factories amidst intense global competition and challenges like devaluation of the US dollar, a top trade association has said.
Expressing worries over the drop in productivities, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association’s (BGMEA) President Siddiqur Rahman yesterday said Bangladesh’s garment industry was facing myriad challenges.
“It is a matter of concern that 618 factories shut down in past three years after their productivities dropped due to various reasons. 319 more factories are also going to close down,” Rahman said.
The garment sector is facing the challenge of gas and power crisis, high interest rate of bank loans, devaluation of US dollar and cut in price of its products, he said.
Noting that the export had been growing by an average of 10 per cent over past five years, Rahman demanded halving the tax at source for the sector to 0.3 per cent in 2016- 17 like the previous fiscal year.
He also suggested that no value added tax should be imposed on garment accessories, and duty-free import of fire extinguishers should be allowed to help the entrepreneurs tackle the challenges.