The country’s readymade garment (RMG) industry has been suffering severely from the energy crisis. In addition, the factories are witnessing a downfall in apparel work orders. Leading industrialists say that various global issues and the recent gas shortage have reduced the RMG production in industries by almost half.
Moreover, without getting adequate gas pressure and increased fuel cost, production in industries has also been reduced by almost half. As a result, many factories are running at half of capacity. The factory owners are facing financial loss. Some owners fear that if this continues, the factory will eventually be closed.
Mahbubur Rahman, President of Bangladesh Knitting Owners Association (BKOA) said, “The owners of the knitting industry have suffered losses due to lack of work. Due to which they are not able to pay the bank loan, workers’ salaries, electricity bills, and factory rent. Many have sold their knitting machines in debt.”
30-35 knitting factories have closed down in the last six months in Narayanganj. About 700 workers have become unemployed, he added.
According to Bangladesh Knitting Owners Association, currently, there are 700 registered knitting factories across the country including Narayanganj, Gazipur, Savar, and Chittagong. However, the number of knitting factories across the country including unregistered ones is more than 2500.
Talking to knitting factory owners in Narayangonj, it is said that the production has decreased by 45-55 percent due to a lack of orders. As a result, they are incurring a loss amount of 1-1.5lac Taka per month. The situation worsened after the start of the Russia-Ukraine war.
BKMEA Senior Vice President Mansur Ahmed told in this regard that the orders of clothes have decreased in Europe due to the effect of the Russia-Ukraine war. Economically, people in Europe are also rationing. So, buyers don’t want to buy the product at the previous price. They negotiate with garment owners to reduce prices.
Meanwhile, in Gazipur, factory production has also decreased by half for a lack of adequate gas pressure. As a result, factory owners are facing financial losses.
The owner of a garment factory in Chandra area said that the gas pressure has been low for quite some time. This has reduced factory production. Machines in some sections of the factory have to be shut down due to low gas.
A director of a spinning mill at Safipur said that their production has come down by 50 to 60 percent. There is no gas during the daytime. After evening the gas started coming slowly.
According to Titus Gas Transmission and Distribution Company officials, the crisis has arisen in the factory due to a low supply of gas. However, the supply is expected to increase towards the end of October.