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Tuesday, February 17, 2015, Falgun 5, 1421 BS, Robi-Us-Sani 27, 1436 Hijr

Muhith sees 'image crisis' not financial loss in RMG sector
Published : Tuesday, 17 February, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 43

Staff Correspondent
Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Monday claimed that apparel exports were not affected much due to the general strikes and continuous blockades enforced by Bangladesh Nationalist Party lead 20 party alliances.
The minister said, "Such political programmes exacted huge tolls on the country's agricultural sector."
The Chief of Bangladesh Exporters Association Abdus Salam Murshedy, however, claimed that the garments sector alone incurred a loss of Taka 21,711 crore since the blockade started.
Muhith made the statement while talking to journalists after holding a meeting with the representatives of International Arbitration Centre at finance ministry auditorium at the Secretariat.
President of International Chamber of Commerce Mahabub Rahman attended the meeting along with nine members of the Bangladesh International Arbitration Centre.
"It is my personal assessment that the apparel exporters were facing only image crisis whereas the people in the district towns were almost devastated," he said.
He said, "Situation at the district levels was improving a bit but still lacked proper connectivity between them and with the capital."
"The country's readymade garment sector has not incurred any significant loss due to the ongoing nationwide transport blockade and general strikes," said Muhith.
Muhith, however, admitted that the image of the industry has been affected due to cancellation of orders and delays in shipments.
On February 11, Atiqul Islam, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) claimed that the country's RMG industry has incurred a loss of Tk 21,711 crore due to the non-stop political unrest beginning from January 6.
He said: "The RMG sector faced the huge loss due to cancellation of orders, extra-burden of air freights, delays in shipments, discounts and vandalism in the wake of the ongoing agitation programmes."
According to the BGMEA estimate, the apparel sector faced the order cancellations worth Tk10,000 crore while it had to spend additional money of over Tk918 crore for air shipments.
During the blockades, vandalism costs the exporters Tk4,395 crore while Tk750 crore for planning disruption. The sector also had to pay Tk84 crore extra as transport fees.
The sector also has lost 25 per cent to 30 per cent orders due to the ongoing political unrest, which would cast negative impact on the sector to achieve the export target, said Islam.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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