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Dhaka Tribune

Festival economy hit hard by lockdown second year in a row

They say they’ll make half of their regular profits

Update : 19 Jul 2021, 09:37 PM

With Eid-ul-Azha nearing, the last of the big festival economy, businesses say their profits have been halved because of covid. 

The celebration of Eid-ul-Azha mainly circles around livestock and the rawhide industry. 

According to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, out of 1.19 crore animals eligible for sacrifice this year, 1 crore could be sold and the transaction will be around Tk45,000 crore to Tk50,000 crore.

Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Prof Mustafizur Rahman, a distinguished fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said that cattle rearing is one of the largest economic investments in Bangladesh's rural economy and a large number of people are dependent on it, especially during the Eid economy.

Also read - What can we learn from last Eid-ul-Fitr?

The leather industry which usually makes Tk1,200 crore to Tk1,500 crore during this Eid, expects to make around Tk700 crore this year. 

“We are ready to collect Rawhide. But like the last two years, we do not expect much profit in this sector,” Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchant Association President Aftab Khan told Dhaka Tribune on Monday,  

“Normally, there is a turnover of around Tk1,200 crore to Tk1,500 crore every year for buying and selling of raw hides. But this time, we expect it to be around Tk700 crore,” he added. 

Then there is the country's spice market. Although the market is worth around Tk4,000 crore on Eid during normal times, the traders concerned think that it will come down to half this time like last year. 

President of the Bangladesh Wholesale Spices Traders Association Enayet Ullah said that there is a spice market worth Tk4,000 crore to Tk5,000 crore in the country around Eid-ul-Azha. But business has halved this time around.  

Apart from that, a lot of transactions are also done in the long-haul public transport sector ahead of Eid. The transactions in this sector are no less than Tk2,000 crore.

Also read - Disaster looms with thousands set to return to Dhaka after Eid

However, due to the pandemic, one of the businesses during the Eid-ul-Azha — the businesses related to Hajj, are no more. About Tk1,500 crore comes from Hajj flights every year. Moreover, there are other businesses related to Hajj.

Although it is not like Eid-ul-Fitr, shopping malls generally see a flurry of customers buying clothes, especially refrigerators this time. After a two-week lockdown before Eid, markets are now finally open, but shopkeepers say the business is still in a lull. 

Bangladesh Shop Owners Association President Helal Uddin told the media that the demand for various luxury items including fridges, refrigerators, clothes and fashion products usually increases around Eid-ul-Azha. As a result, there used to be a trade of Tk4-5 crore in the markets and shops all over the country. But this year, it will be less.

The combined volume of these two sectors is Tk4,000 crore.

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