Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) wants Tk 1500 crore in assistance from the government to pay workers’ bonuses and salaries ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.
The knitwear factory owners’ association claimed that the export-oriented sector may be in dire straits overpaying workers ahead of Eid if financial assistance is not provided.
BKMEA has sent a letter to the senior secretary of the Finance Division, under the Ministry of Finance regarding the financial assistance from the subsidy allocated for the export sector in the budget.
The letter, signed by BKMEA President AKM Salim Osman, on March 30 made a request to the government for cash assistance.
The letter stated that the global economy is in an adverse situation due to the Russia-Ukraine war.
Bangladesh’s export sector is going through a challenging time during this struggle for survival as well.
Due to the ongoing global recession, most factories do not have enough work orders, so production is running at 50%- 60% capacity.
It has become difficult to pay the workers’ salaries at the end of the month, BKMEA mentioned in the letter.
International buyers are also not paying their dues on time for the products already being exported. There is huge pressure regarding paying salaries and Eid bonuses this month, the letter added.
“In such a situation, it will be very difficult to handle this pressure without the cooperation of the government and the finance department,” BKMEA said.
In this regard, he urged the government to provide cash assistance from the subsidy allocated for the export sector.
In the current fiscal year, Tk7,825 crores have been allocated for the subsidy or cash assistance of the export sector.
The first installment of Tk1,900 crore was released on August 28 last year for the July-September quarter and Tk1,500 crore was released as the second installment of the October-December quarter on December 27.
On March 28, the third installment of Tk2,000 crore was released for the January-March quarter though the demand was Tk2,500 crore.
“The last amount released is insufficient compared to the requirement. So, we demand at least another Tk1,500 by April 5 crore to handle the situation before Eid from the fourth quarter,” the letter read noting that if not, worker dissatisfaction may arise in the export sector.