The local textile mills have been facing unfair price competition in the market due to smuggled fabrics and also due to the continuous misuse of bonded ware facilities causing a severe crisis for them.
Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) Vice-President Md Ali Khokon has made the allegations while speaking to reporters at BTMA headquarters in Dhaka on Saturday. According to BTMA, Bangladesh has a capacity of producing 3,000 million meters of woven fabrics per year which are further processed in over 240 dyeing mills. There are also about 340,000 handlooms that can produce saris, lungis and other clothes.
“However, ever since clothing fabrics have begun to be imported illegally and bonded warehouses are being misused, mills that produce fabrics for local consumption are struggling due to the loss in an unfair competitive environment,” said Khokon.
“Most of the times, fabric and other clothing products are imported illegally,” said Khokon. “Thus they can be sold at a far cheaper price than locally produced ones. As a result, local textile millers are suffering huge financial losses. Our mills are perfectly capable of producing fabrics for local markets, as well as foreign markets,” said the BTMA vice president.
Primary data of BTMA shows that over 8,00,000 to 1 million pieces of clothing including sari, kameez, shirts and others are entering Bangladesh borders illegally through the 17 border areas of Bangladesh every year. This is later brought into Dhaka through railways.
“We are not against commercial import,” said BTMA Vice President Khokon. “If clothing or fabrics are imported legally, importers would need to pay tax and that would balance the price competition.”
Khokon also urged the NBR to ensure proper uses of bonded warehouse facilities so that local manufacturers can sell their fabrics to their optimum capacity.