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The garments industry needs extensive infrastructure support and its relocation outside the city to allow room for easy expansion and other logistic support.
The industry has the potentials to fetch $60 billion in foreign exchange by the year of 2020 if the planned industrial parks are built at several places and other supports including uninterrupted supply of electricity and gas could be ensured, said industry leaders on Thursday.
BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) leaders expressed the optimism at a meeting with Industries Minister Dilip Barua held at the latter's office in the capital yesterday.
During the meeting, they demanded immediate implementation of the proposed industrial parks for garments to facilitate speedy growth of the industry.
"Implementation of the proposed industrial park at Gazaria Upazila in Munshiganj is crucial as early execution of this project could help the industry attain more value addition and diversification of products," said BGMEA president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin at the meeting. He also called for setting up at least four similar parks or garments producing zones in the outskirts of the capital in order to relocate the industry from the city. "Over the years, the industry has developed in an unplanned manner and for this, more than 2500 garments units have so far faced closure," he added. He sought the Minister's cooperation for quick implementation of the proposed project lying emphasis on immediate land acquisition by BSCIC for setting up of the industrial parks.
Dilip Barua gave a patience hearing to their demands and assured total support to the industry. "Steps should be taken to make the industry sustainable and competitive in line with the global perspectives," Barua said.
He also said that the government will extend full support to the implementation of the garments park project with better infrastructure facilities.
Barua called upon the garment sector entrepreneurs to concentrate in bringing more innovation in products diversification and value addition to enrich the country's export basket, both in volume and value.
The immediate past caretaker government had taken the initiative to relocate the ready-made garment (RMG) industries from the capital to its outskirts. They laid priority to it to ease traffic congestion and avoid environmental hazards. AS part of it, the caretaker government had devised a plan to set up an industrial park at Gazaria Upazila in Munshiganj and the Industry Ministry was given the responsibility to execute it.
Working on it, Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) formulated a project but it failed so far to start mobilization due to bureaucratic tangles, the sources said.