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Proposed budget challenging, not unrealistic: BGMEA

DHAKA: Claiming the proposed budget as challenging, but not realistic, the entrepreneurs of readymade garment sector on Saturday demanded 10 per cent cash incentive on non-cotton fibre based clothe exports for increasing competitiveness in the global markets.
They also demanded continuation of the existing 0.5 per cent source tax for the next five years for taking long-term business and investment plan.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan made the demands, while speaking in a press briefing on the proposed national budget in the conference room of the BGMEA Bhaban at Uttara in the capital.
He said the fashion industry has been shifting globally to manmade fibre thanks to their environment-friendliness, functionality and durability.
However, Bangladesh is still very weak in the trade of manmade garment items and the competing countries have been doing the business of non-cotton fibre garment business, he said.
“Manmade fibre garment occupies 78 per cent of the global business, while cotton made fibre the 22 per cent. But, some 74.14 per cent of Bangladesh’s garment export earnings come from cotton made garment items,” the BGMEA president added. “Bangladesh is lagging behind in the mainstream business of manmade fibre garment worth few hundred billion dollars globally. So, 10 per cent cash incentive is needed for betterment of the sector,” Faruque said.
He further said the country has already set up its capacity with the installation of machinery in non-cotton RMG items manufacturing while the fabric is also available. The government’s support to provide an incentive in such manmade textile manufacturing and exporting will help increase the industry’s competitiveness, which will also help raise the global market share, he said.
“We have the opportunity to create fresh employment, attract new investment and thus increase the overall RMG exports,” he said
About the the continuation of the existing 0.5 per cent source tax for the next five years, he said it will help to take long-term business planning in the sector.
Usually, the garment exporters demand reduction of the source tax to 0.25 per cent before and after the budget every year. But this year they came up with the call to keep the tax same for some time as the finance minister in his budget speech did not clearly mention any rate of source tax.

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