Local garment accessories makers have urged the government to include them in the proposed TK 50 billion fund for export sectors or allocate a separate fund for the industry to help them overcome the ongoing virus outbreak impact.
“Due to coronavirus pandemic, we are equally financially affected,” said Abdul Kader Khan, president of Bangladesh Garment Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGAPMEA) in a statement issued on Thursday.
He also hoped that the government would assist them by sharing the declared fund or by allotting separate fund for them.
Abdul also noted that accessories and packaging sector is one of the main export oriented sector that is supporting other export sectors to produce their finished products.
“The World economy as well as Bangladesh faces challenges due to Covid-19 pandemic. Particularly the RMG sector is under threat due to withheld and cancelled export orders by the foreign buyers,” said Mr Khan.
With buyers’ cancellation or holding up readymade garment (RMG) export orders amid the corona virus outbreak, RMG exporters are also doing the same with accessories and packaging goods orders, he said.
In many cases, RMG exporters are not paying the outstanding dues, he alleged.
Even, they are also not opening letter of credit (LoC) against supplied items, he noted.
“Sometimes, we supplied the items to RMG sector without LoC so that they can export products within schedule time,” he said.
Financial crisis of RMG sector has affected accessories and packaging sector equally, said the BGAPMEA leader.
Recently, the government has announced a Tk 50 billion fund to help export-oriented sectors pay wages to the workers and survive during the ongoing corona virus outbreak.
Garments accessories and packaging products are an ornamental part of the finished products including RMG, the BGAPMEA chief said adding RMG designers and technicians use the fabrics and accessories for the finished items.
More than 1,700 BGAPMEA members meet nearly 95 per cent demands for accessories of the country’s readymade garment industry.
Except RMG, all other export products contain 12 to 18 per cent accessories and packaging items.
“Like RMG sector, without financial assistance of the government, it is quite impossible for this sector to pay the wages for the workers,” Mr Khan noted.
Investment of the sub-sector of export-oriented industries including readymade garment, pharmaceuticals, ceramic, leather and frozen foods stood more than Tk 350 billion and created employment for about 700,000 workers out of which 20 per cent are women.
The sector exported $7.0 billion worth of accessories in the last fiscal year while $1.0 billion were directly exported to many countries.