DCCI seeks financial, policy supports
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) on Thursday sought financial and policy supports from the government to save the print and publication sector, as it lost a third of its businesses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The business body leaders made the call at a webinar title "Covid -19 Outbreak and Bangladesh's Publishing Industry: Crisis & Way Forward," organized by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI.)
DCCI Member and President of Printing Industries Association of Bangladesh Shahid Serniabad said that the sector lost businesses of about Tk4,000 crore till now due to the pandemic while the total sector was worth Tk12,000crore.
Besides, about 500,000 people directly involved in this sector also suffered due to loss of their livelihoods, he added.
He sought the government’s support so that micro entrepreneurs of this sector can easily avail loans under the announced stimulus package.
Bangladesh Paper Importers Association President Md Shafiqul Islam urged equal distribution to entrepreneurs from the stimulus package.
The market demand has declined and about 70% sales have been cut down due to Covid-19, he added.
Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) President Rafiqul Islam Azad informed that only 86 newspapers out of total 254 were now in operation.
About 200 journalists lost their jobs amid Covid outbreak and many were in risks of losing jobs, he said, urging the government to declare printing and publishing sector as an industry.
DCCI President Shams Mahmud said cash flow in businesses was a big problem now.
He said that the government announced a stimulus package of Tk20,000 crore for SMEs but the entrepreneurs who have not regular dealings with the banks were being deprived of loan facility.
He urged the government to proper disbursement of the fund and ensures it for printing and publication industry.
“Bangladesh’s capacity in printing and publishing sector was increasing day by day, but the sector has been seriously affected by covid 19 pandemic,” said M A Momen, former DCCI president.
Tk12,000crore turn over in this sector was now in dire state, he added.
Mohammad Bashiruddin, vice president at DCCI, said that due to closure of educational institutions, normal demand of printing materials have declined drastically.
He also urged for reformation of duty structure, removing complexity of duty draw-back system and emphasized planning for creating skilled manpower in this sector.