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Power & Energy - February 25, 2023

Businessmen want continued subsidies to fuel and energy

‘Not to comply with IMF conditions now’

Ibrahim Khalil Jewel: Traders and entrepreneurs of the country want subsidies for some more time as well as they want the govt would not coordinate the IMF’s terms and conditions now, considering the inflation and the current world situation.
The leaders of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) told this in a view exchange meeting with the journalists yesterday (February 25).
MCCI President Md. Saiful Islam, Vice-President Habibullah N Karim, and Secretary General Farooq Ahmed were present at the meeting.
The MCCI president said the government has recently announced that no subsidy will be given under the pressure of the IMF (International Monetary Fund). If not every month with international prices, the price will be adjusted at the quarter. But the pandemic is not over yet in the world. The Russia-Ukraine war is ongoing. In this situation, the subsidy of the fuel will be under pressure, the country’s traders will be under pressure, the cost of production will increase. Competition will be reduced. So we want to keep subsidy this year without coordinating the price of fuel this year.
He said that when the next four years, when we pass from the underdeveloped country (LDC), many facilities will be lifted in the trade. Then we have to provide policy assistance to the government to sustain.
In response to the question of whether there is any problem with opening the LC of raw material imports, Saiful Islam said the Russia-Ukraine conflict has caused a severe dollar crisis in the country since last year. The government has spent from the reserve forced to meet import costs.
He said, “There is no restriction on importing raw materials from Bangladesh Bank but we cannot open LC as before.” Because the necessary dollar is unable to support. So it is still taking a long time to open the LC of import of raw materials.
Referring to the NBR harassment, the MCCI leader said the revenue officer determines the fate of a businessman in the field. So we have always advised to launch automation to eliminate harassment in the revenue sector. This claim is long, but it has not yet been introduced. So the suffering did not diminish.
The MCCI president also said, “We have improved a number of indexes in the corona.” The export target has been estimated at US$ 57 billion in the current fiscal year. Meanwhile, $32.45 billion has been exported in the first seven months (July-January). If this continues, the $60 billion will be exported in this fiscal year.
He said that the epidemic did not hurt our economy as it did in other countries. The main reason for this is the government’s proper steps and financial incentive packages. Because of this, our export earnings have become good. If the government gives us policy assistance in the right rules, then the system will expand the trade in the future.
About the garments, he said, the garment sector is increasing the revenue in the export sector of the country. In the first seven months of the current fiscal year, export growth in the garment sector has increased by 14.40 percent. Besides, the country’s garment sector is exporting $4.46 million per month.
However, it is not just the garment to be exported. He said there is no alternative to exporting exports to increase export revenue.

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