• Monday, Dec 16, 2019
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Tipu Munshi blames owners for RMG sector's setbacks

  • Published at 11:05 pm November 6th, 2019
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi
File photo of Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The government was trying to find a way out in consultation with industry leaders and businesspeople, he told reporters after holding a meeting with BGMEA leaders on the current gloomy RMG export situation at commerce ministry

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Wednesday said the country's readymade garments (RMG) sector was facing setbacks because of activities of some local apparel exporters.

The government was trying to find a way out in consultation with industry leaders and businesspeople, he told reporters after holding a meeting with BGMEA leaders on the current gloomy RMG export situation at commerce ministry.

In the meeting, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) placed several demands including providing 1% cash incentive on export receipts from apparel and tax exclusion on all cash incentives. 

“Apparel owners and businesspeople came up with recommendations on how to deal with the persisting 'negative growth' of this sector,” Tipu Munshi said after the meeting.

NBR chairman and finance division secretary were also present at the meeting. 

The minister said: "Unhealthy competition of selling products at low prices by RMG exporters has badly affected the RMG sector in the last three months, triggering a significant decrease in export earnings."  

In response to a question about the problems in RMG sector, Munshi said: "Several issues were discussed in the meeting including clearance and shipping related issues, as well as the delay in port. There are other issues involved too but the important thing is that we are going to take measures to address them all."

He said the varying prices of dollar was a big problem dragging on exporters. 

Apparel manufacturers present in the meeting pointed out that different banks were buying and selling dollar at different rates. 

The minister said another big issue was the interest rates of banks, especially the private banks. This issue was discussed widely in Tuesday's ECNEC meeting also, he added.

"We have also talked about expanding the tax purview. Those who have the ability to pay tax should not avoid it. The country needs each and every taxpayer for its development," he said.

The NBR chief also assured the businesspeople of cash incentives, he said. 

The export growth in apparel sector has decreased 6.7% in last four months. In July-August, comparative export growth declined .33%.

Moreover, a total of 59 garment factories have been closed from January to September, rendering 29,700 workers jobless.