Bangladeshi spinning mills are facing the brunt of the countrywide curve of movement to contain the Coronavirus cases.
Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) President, Mohammad Ali Khokon revealed a grim picture in a letter which he prepared to submit to the finance ministry and other government offices next week.
“Around TK35billion worth of yarn, fabrics piled in 250 spinning and weaving mills. And some 1.5 million people have been directly affected by the dip in sales in the primary textile sector,” Khokon stressed in a letter.
In the letter, Mohammad Ali Khokon requested the withdrawal of VAT on all kinds of yarn and fabrics sold between March 20 and June 30 this year.
BTMA President also sought exemption of interest on term loans for six months and extension of term loan repayment period by two years for the affected millers.
Local millers were preparing for the upcoming festivals of Pahela Baishakh (first day of the Bangla calendar) and Eid-ul Fitr. As the calamity fallen millers mainly produce yarn and fabrics for the local market said Khokon.
Of the 450 BTMA-member spinning mills, 250 were in a fix, as they produce fabrics and yarn for products such as lungi, sari, salwar kameez and fatua.
The situation was the same for 500 of the 850 weaving mills which produce fabrics for the local markets. This has oozed down on some 200 units of dyeing and finishing mills which mainly assist these spinning and weaving mills, Khokon said.
The government has already forced a ban on big gatherings to celebrate the Pahela Baishakh. It is a hard blow for the spinning and weaving millers as the occasion draws around Tk 15 billion worth of clothing sale, Khokon emphasized the losses the millers might endure.
He also drew attention to the fact that millers may miss the other major clothing sales events this year, as the government may restrict the celebrations of Eid-ul Fitr also.
In the letter, he also demanded to allow payment of utility bills like gas and electricity for the next six months starting from March in 12 monthly installments while withdrawing associated VAT, interest and surcharge.
Besides, Khokon included that the government should facilitate the duty-free import of textile dyes and chemicals until June 30 this year.
The BTMA President also urged the govt. for withdrawing all demurrage fees for imports at the Chattogram port between March 20 and June 30 this year.
AKM Salim Osman, president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), in a statement recently said the association’s member factories would be able to run their units after April 4 while ensuring adequate health safety measures for workers.
The BKMEA also strongly suggested its members clear workers’ wages for March in time to avert any labor unrest.