The government will soon disburse funds of 50 billion (5,000 crore) stimulus package announced for the export-oriented sectors to facilitate payment of salaries and wages to their employees. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced the incentive package in order to support export-oriented manufacturing industries.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, global buyers have cancelled or suspended work orders of the apparel sector worth $3 billion. Other export-oriented sectors are also facing similar problems. Businesses can avail the funds from the package at 2 percent interest to pay the salaries and wages of their employees and workers for up to three months. The central bank will administer the fund which will be disbursed through both public and private sector banks.
The government’s promptness in dealing with the
crisis and preparing a stimulus package for the
export-oriented industries is indeed laudable
The garment industry's heavily relies on imports from China including machinery, fabrics, yarn, buttons, painting chemicals and raw materials, which account for 70 percent of the total demand. As a result, the production of small and medium garment factories is under threat which might cause workers’ salaries to be cut off. More than half the garments factories in the country are directly involved with exports, meaning the outbreak will likely negatively affect majority of the workers’ salaries.
The government’s promptness in dealing with the crisis and preparing a stimulus package for the export-oriented industries is indeed laudable. Without support from authorities, these workers would have been left to fend for themselves. With rising cost of commodities in the market, many families would have suffered greatly and become unable to put food on the table.
The government must ensure the wellbeing of export workers and their families. This sector is one of the driving forces behind the country’s progress. Swift action is needed to protect the rights of the workers and ensure their safety.