DHAKA, Dec 12, 2013 (BSS) -The country is witnessing economic bleeding due to the prolonged political unrest, forcing the Readymade Garment (RMG) makers to incur losses as a result of forced air freight, discount, cancellation of orders and deferred payment.
"Political instability is hitting hard the apparel industry. We incurred loss of Taka 4,000 crore due to forced air shipment during January-September," said M Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Talking to BSS, Atiqul said the major foreign exchange earner has become the worst victim of the shutdown and blockade.
He said, "We had to incur loss of over Taka 2,000 crore due to the ongoing street violence in October-November alone."
Referring to a research carried out by the association to assess overall losses caused by the blockades, he said orders worth $2.40 million were cancelled during nine days from December 1 to 9.
The exporters spent $0.9 million on air shipment, he said citing the BGMEA\'s research and development team that has collected data from 21 exporters. In the form of penalty for delayed shipment, the exporters saw a price cut by $4.65 million as orders worth $6.6 million were delayed.
Production at apparel units has reduced by 10 per cent, he said adding that the country saw only two per cent growth of the industry last October. Shubhashish Bose, Vice-Chairman of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), said the agency is apprehending a negative impact on the overall export of garment items due to delay in movement of goods causing political unrest. Slowdown in production will definitely have an impact on overall export, he said.
Clothing is king in Bangladesh, a country that exports more garments than any other in the world except China. It is responsible for four out of every five export dollars. Bangladesh's $20 billion-a-year garment industry accounts for 80 percent of its total export earnings and contributes a major share of the country's $115 billion GDP. By 1982, the country had 47 readymade garment factories and now it has more than 3500. The sector has created over 40 lakh jobs, most of them are women.