RMG sector loses Tk 10,000cr in 2-month political unrest: BGMEA

January 5, 2014

Business activities worth around Tk 10,000 crore in the readymade garments sector were hindered by a supply chain disruption in the last two months amid frequent general strikes and blockades enforced by the opposition political alliance. RMG sector leaders said the apparel sector lost the volume of the business from November 1 last year to January 4 this year as the country lost 41 out of 65 working days in the period.
In the 41 days, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led opposition alliance enforced strikes for 8 days and blockades for 30 days in phases and the transportation across the country remained suspended for three days due to a government-sponsored blockade, they said.
The leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association said that the strikes and blockades hampered business activities worth Tk 250 crore a day in the sector.
A survey conducted by the BGMEA showed that business activities worth Tk 160 crore were hampered by the political programmes in 38 companies during December 1–January 4.
According to the survey, global orders worth Tk 41.76 crore for the Bangladeshi garment products were cancelled in 35 days in the 38 companies.
In the same period, the companies spent additional costs of Tk 12.23 crore and faced discount of Tk 14.61 crore.
The BGMEA data showed that orders worth Tk 71.86 crore were faced shipment delay in the period.
The factories incurred losses of Tk 21.87 crore due to vandalism and arson on the highways and Tk 68.21 lakh in additional transport costs.
Another BGMEA statistics showed that a total of 7,130 trucks and covered vans carried RMG products from Dhaka to the Chittagong port for shipment under special police protection in 24 days during strikes and blockades since November 30.
‘Transportation of export goods under police protection in daytime started last week after miscreants made several sabotage attempts in the fog at night,’ BGMEA vice-president Shahidullah Azim told New Age on Saturday.
The highway police have recently decided to transport the goods in daytime instead of night during strike and blockade from Dhaka to the Chittagong port under police protection.
Shahidullah said despite the police protection some covered vans were vandalised and blazed at the Sitakunda point as police could not resist the miscreants due to fog of winter night.
The figure of order cancellation, amount of discount and air freight have proved that the international business is not possible only under police protection, rather it requires business friendly environment, he said.
He said only 25 per cent of total consignments were carried to the Chittagong port under police protection as most of the exporters were scared of the political violence across the country.

-Input from New Age

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