Bangladesh business leaders push for reopening of factories in pandemic

Leaders of BGMEA, BKMEA, BTMEA, Dhaka Chamber and FBCCI made the request during a meeting with Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam at the Secretariat on Thursday.

They say that prolonged closures risk losing their share of the international market, breakdowns of supply chains, congestion at ports and will have an overall effect on the economy.

“We came to request that all kinds of industrial work be allowed to resume during this lockdown,” said BGMEA President Faruque Hassan.

The government had allowed factories to remain open during previous lockdowns, but ordered them closed in the lockdown imposed on Jul 23. But factories involved in the processing of rawhide from Eid sacrificial animals, food products, COVID-19 prevention products and pharmaceuticals were exempted from these restrictions.

Owners in the readymade garment industry, concerned about the timely delivery of exports during a busy season, have called for these lockdown rules to be relaxed.

At a meeting on Tuesday, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said: “The current lockdown will continue. We cannot accept the requests of industrialists at this time.”