The Bangladesh govt. has decided that all kinds of factories in Bangladesh will stay closed from 23 July to 5 August as the government will enforce strict COVID-19 lockdown throughout the time after easing restrictions one week due to Eid. If Eid holidays are taken together, the industry will have to stay closed for at least 18 days in a row.
The Cabinet Division has issued a gazette notification on Tuesday in this regard detailing the rules and regulations to be imposed from 23 July.
Industry experts expressed their concerns over the government’s move to ease lockdown restrictions for a week.
Rubana Huq, Ex-President, BGMEA
It’s a suicidal decision. Eid holidays this time should have been the shortest.
The workers should not be returning to their villages.
They will be exposed to infection to a great extent and they will also return to their workplaces infected. This is a huge risk.
The business will be severely impacted as not only do we lose production days, we also riskless or no output in case of a huge incidence of Covid.
Ahsan Mahmood, Country Manager, Gina Tricot
Nothing to do. If we concern about the COVID situation it’s terrible but as the decision to open and then lockdown it’s a huge chance of transformation of this virus.
We thought probably the lockdown going to be strict to avoid movement during eid holidays as well the industry can run.
Important to run the industry because of shipments, on process production to keep continue and confirm orders once’s summer holidays end of the month.
Now what I feel movement creates more impact as well closing of the industry for a long time.
Sheikh H M Mustafiz, Managing Director, Cute Dress Industry Ltd.
With these long holidays, it will have serious impacts on our business which are supposed to ship out after Eid. We may have to compensate with pre-paid air shipment to meet our buyers’ delivery deadline.
Because we already delayed the shipment due to supply chain disruption during the recent lockdown.
However, we will try to inform the situation to our buyers and try our best to negotiate with affordable compensation. Probably we can manage with few customers, but the tough one may not compromise.
Secondly, I am really worried about my workforce when they come back from home. If the number of asymptomatic employees are very high, then it will be a big disaster even we start operation on 6 August. The whole industry will be very severely contagious and we may have to shut down our full operation for unlimited days.
Hasin Arman, Treasurer, BAYLA and Director of MB Knit Fashion Ltd.
This was the time to get some volume orders at a fair price from the buyers since they have started opening their shops but if this lockdown starts from the 23rd of July and stays for 18 days it will be a disaster for the industry.
We don’t have a money tree from where we can pluck the money and run the business.
For the business and to give the salary to the workers and payment to the suppliers we have to give shipments to roll the turnover with the bank.
In this circumstance, if the industry doesn’t get the privilege to keep going with the shipment schedules, we will lose business, many orders will be stuck.
Because we are over the schedule from the delivery dates currently due to the short and late supply of the yarns and fabrics.
On the other hand, workers will go back to their places and when they will come back the probability of spreading the corona will increase more.
We firmly believe the government will be considered evaluating the current state.
Robin Razon Sakhawat, Director Robintex Group
Lockdown will affect us negatively.
After the first lockdown, it took us nearly 5 months to recover.
Now things are finally looking better again and suddenly we will face lockdown again.
We fear buyers will cancel orders and shift to competition.
We strongly advise against factory closure.
Abdul Wadud, CEO, Transform
Garments should be allowed to start by the 1st of August.
But Spinning, Knitting and dying should be left to Management as these are capital-intensive industries and there are huge backlogs of existing orders and this needs further consideration to balance for the sack of sustainability.