Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has sought support of the government for the RMG industry to overcome the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and turn around.
A delegation of BGMEA led by its acting President SM Mannan (Kochi) made the call during a meeting with Senior Secretary to the Finance Ministry Abdur Rouf Talukder at the Secretariat on Tuesday.
Former BGMEA President Md. Shafiul Islam (Mohiuddin), MP, BGMEA Vice President Shahidullah Azim, Vice President (Finance) Khandoker Rafiqul Islam and Director M. Ahsanul Hoq were also present at the meeting.
The BGMEA leaders said the export-oriented apparel sector is still passing through tough times prolonged by the second wave of the Covid-19 in the country.
Moreover, they said major export markets of Bangladesh including Europe are yet to get back to fully normal state.
It was expected that the apparel sector could turn around with improvement in the pandemic situation but the surge of new variants and infections put the industry in challenges again, they added.
They requested the government to extend the payback period of the loans under the Covid response stimulus package from the existing 18 months to 36 months to help the sector to overcome the hurdles.
They urged the government to write off all debts, interest, and cost of fund charges for the 133 sick RMG factories, taking them into special consideration.
The BGMEA leaders also called for an exit policy for businesses who want to shut down their businesses safely, similar to Chapter 11 which exists in most of our competing countries.
They requested the government not to treat compliant units of a group of companies as loan defaulters for loan defaulting by any of its concerns, as other profitable and compliant enterprises of the group would be affected due to it.