Monday, July 22, 2019

BGMEA demands more cash incentives in budget

  • Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-06-16 21:37:00 BdST

bdnews24
Rubana Huq, president of garment exporters' association BGMEA, speaking about the proposed national budget for FY 2019-20 at a press conference in Dhaka on Sunday. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

Apparel industry leaders have demanded that the government increase the cash aid to 3 percent from 1 percent against exports in the proposed national budget.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) made the call in a post-budget press briefing on Sunday in Dhaka.

They, however, termed the proposed budget for 2019-20 fiscal ‘inclusive, business-friendly and pro-people’.

President Rubana Huq said they need the assistance to face the challenges of export markets.

Garment makers left out of current export benefits will get Tk 28.25 billion in incentives for the next fiscal year once the proposed budget is passed.

Currently, four sectors of garment manufacturing receive export incentives at 4 percent.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal proposed an export incentive of 1 percent in the next fiscal year to the rest of the sectors in garment manufacturing.

“We sought an allocation of Tk 141.25 billion or 5 percent cash incentives against exports to all destinations but the government has given only 1 percent for the traditional market,” Rubana said. “We are asking for the increase considering the current status of the sector.”

Rubana Huq, president of garment exporters' association BGMEA, speaking about the proposed national budget for FY 2019-20 at a press conference in Dhaka on Sunday. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

Rubana Huq, president of garment exporters' association BGMEA, speaking about the proposed national budget for FY 2019-20 at a press conference in Dhaka on Sunday. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

BGMEA argued that prices of readymade garments in the international market are dropping each day.

As a result, 22 garment factories went out of business in April alone while the figure for the last year was around 1,200. The production costs, on the other hand, are rising.

Due to controlled exchange rate, Bangladeshi manufacturers are losing competitive edge to the global market, which is also acknowledged by economists.

BGMEA President Rubana said thousands of entrepreneurs and workers will fall into disarray if the government does not provide special assistance in the budget.

She also demanded that the government reduce the corporate tax on garment sector to 10 percent from 12 percent.

She said the government should waive duty on import of eight types of fire safety equipment used for the purposes of workplace safety in the industries. The government in its budget proposed to waive duty on five such items.

The BGMEA boss also asked for single-digit bank interest rate for the garment sector.