Plot and business owners of Barishal Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (Bscic) area suffer as the city corporation has stopped issuing trade licences due to a stalemate between the two entities.
Plot owners say Bscic has a massive amount of service charge dues to the Barishal City Corporation leading to the hitch while a city corporation official termed it as 'internal issues', without clarifying the problem.
"We are discussing how to give trade licences to the entrepreneurs of Bscic. The problem will be solved very soon as we are discussing the matter," said Sayed Mohammad Faruk Ahamed, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Barishal City Corporation.
Meanwhile, the businesses are suffering as they are unable to avail bank loans and operate without a trade licence.
"The trade licence is the basic document to start any business. I can't do any official work without the paper," said Babul Talukder, the owner of Baizid Plastic at the Bscic.
He added that he went several times to the city corporation office for the licence but the office informed that the Bscic has a huge amount of dues to the city corporation.
The Chairman of Bangladesh Bscic recently went to the city corporation office to settle the matter but left Barishal without meeting the owners of the Bscic business farms.
"We thought the chairman would be successful in solving the problems between the Bscic and the city corporation but he left without any solution," said Babul.
"A good number of the Bscic plot owners can't start their new business. Some of them can't get licences from BSTI and are unable to get bank loans. I am also facing problems in availing other licences without the trade licence." said Tawhid Jamal, the owner of Jim Food Products.
"If we don't get a trade licence within a very short time, our business will suffer and we will be forced to stop production without any financial support from the banks," added Jamal.
The Barishal Bscic has 125 mills and factories where some seven to ten thousand people are working, according to the information from the Bscic, which was established in 1961.
"I have been trying to settle the issue by contacting all the parties as it is in the interests of all the entrepreneurs of the Bscic. I have contacted the city corporation, the Bscic and the respective ministry for solving the problems," said Mizanur Rahman, the president of Barishal Bscic owners Association.
"The city corporation has demanded Tk15.00 as the service charge and holding charge per square feet of land while we collect taka only 2.5 for per square feet as the service charge from the entrepreneurs. How can we pay such an amount while we have no budget for the charge," said Jalis Mahmud, the deputy general manager of Barishal Bscic.
"Usually city corporations take the holding charge from the entrepreneurs at other Bscic inside other city corporations. I have talked with the city corporation to settle the issue and suggested they collect the charges from the plot owners," he said, adding, "It will be settled soon."