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Bangladesh - 1 week ago

Apparel makers for keeping open factories amid strict lockdown

Staff Correspondent:Fearing a massive schedule disruptions and huge financial losses, clothing sector leaders yesterday sent a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina seeking directive to allow factories resume operations after a short Eid vacation.
In the letter, the apparel makers said they might loss the work orders for late summer, Christmas and winter if the factories remain closed for 18 to 20 days due to Eid holidays and after Eid lockdown.
Mentioning that they would have to pay the salaries of July soon after reopening the factories, the apparel exporters said the export sector of the country can be saved from possible catastrophe if the factories are opened soon after Eid holidays.
“You know about our industry very well. We believe that your timely decision will result in a proper guideline for the export sector of the country. We will accept whatever you decide for us,” the garment exporters urged the prime minister.
The industry makers also expressed concerns over the possibility that the buyers might move to alternative sourcing countries despite their higher prices if Bangladesh’s RMG industry is shut down for a long period due to the lockdown.
They also apprehended that country’s export sector might face a tough situation and many entrepreneurs would be bankrupted due to the factory closure.
The letter was signed by BKMEA President AKM Selim Osman, BTMA President Mohammad Ali Khokan, BGMEA president Faruque Hassan, BTTLMEA President Shahadat Hossain Sohel and BGAPMEA Abdul Kader Khan.
Meanwhile, BGMEA leaders held a meeting with Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam at the Secretariate this afternoon.
Following the meeting, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan told reporters that they demanded to keep the industrial factories open during the strict lockdown.
He said the secretary assured them that a meeting would be held next Saturday on the proposal and the decision would be announced accordingly.
The Cabinet Division on Tuesday announced that the ongoing restrictions will be relaxed from 14 July midnight till 6am on 23 July to facilitate trade and economic activities centering Eid-al-Adha. A stricter lockdown will resume from 6am on 23 July to 5 August midnight.
If Eid holidays are taken together, the industry will have to stay closed for at least 18 days in a row, which apparel exporters say would be too big for them to cope with.

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