Owners of ailing industries in the non-textile sector have sought the prime minister's help to get their names off the defaulter list as they are unable to take on new business ventures.
Their proposal came at this year's first meeting of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) Standing Committee on Rehabilitation of Sick Industries, on Sunday afternoon.
"The Munsef Committee was formed in 1998 to rehabilitate sick industries. The then Awami League government set up a fund of Tk100 crore for the rehabilitation of sick industries," Sadeque U Chowdhury, the chairman of the committee, told the meeting held at the FBCCI.
"FBBCI will set up a separate desk to assist and rehabilitate sick industries. A letter will be sent to each chamber and association to make a list of sick factories," Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu, senior vice president of FBCCI, said in his remarks as chief guest.
"After receiving the list, the FBCCI will take steps to rehabilitate a newly ailing industry through discussions with concerned ministries, departments, and the Bangladesh Bank," he added.
In 2009, the Awami League government formed a task force to rehabilitate ailing industries and settle their liabilities. The taskforce put sick factories into three categories, namely Garments, Textiles, and Non-Textiles.
Subsequently, at the decision of the task force, the government issued circulars settling the liabilities of 279 garment factories and 100 textile factories, which did not include any non-textile factories. Banks have since filed cases with the Money Loan Court against these non-textile sick factories and shown them as defaulters. Consequently, they are now unable to take on new business ventures. The issue is yet to be resolved despite several meetings about the matter between stakeholders, the Bangladesh Bank, and the Ministry of Finance.
Under these circumstances the owners of sick non-textile factories have reached out to the prime minister seeking her intervention to help them get back in business.
Tahmin Ahmed, director-in-charge of the committee, said they will soon write a letter to the prime minister.
Nasir Uddin A Ferdous, M Nazrul Islam, Sarkar Md. Salauddin and A.K.M. Khorshed Alam Khan, co-chairmen of the committee, and Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque, secretary general of FBCCI, were present at the meeting.