Bangladesh allows export oriented industries to open from August 1

Bangladesh government on Friday announced that all the export oriented industries would be out of the purview of the ongoing Covid restrictions from August 1.

The Cabinet Division on Friday issued a circular saying that the decision would be effective from 6:00am on August 1.

The government decision came a day after the factory owners’ demand to allow them to keep their units open during Covid curbs with immediate effect.

After the government circular, readymade garment sector leaders told New Age that all of their factories would remain open from August 1.

Country’s apparel and textile factory owners on Thursday held a meeting with cabinet secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam at the Bangladesh Secretariat and, once again, demanded that they should be allowed to reopen factories shortly for the ‘sake of economy and livelihoods’.

Following the meeting the Cabinet Division issued a circular keeping export oriented industries out of the restriction purview.

The Cabinet Division on July 13 in a circular imposed 23-point strict restriction from July 23 to August 5 to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Apparel exporters on July 15 urged the government to allow operation of export-oriented factories during the fresh restrictions to ‘avert export tumble and bankruptcy of entrepreneurs’.

Turning down the appeal of the RMG and textile sector leaders, the Cabinet Division on July 19 issued a circular keeping food and food item processing industries, transport, preservation and processing of rawhides of sacrificial animals and pharmaceuticals, oxygen and Covid protective gear-producing industries out of the restriction purview.

A high-level meeting, chaired by home minister Asaduzzaman Khan, at the Cabinet Division on July 27 turned down the plea of factory owners and decided to continue the ongoing restrictions on public movement and business activities till August 5.

Following the decision, leaders of business community on Thursday held a meeting with the cabinet secretary demanded to reopen their factories amid the restrictions.

Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association senior vice president Mohammad Hatem hailed the government decision to keep the export oriented sector out of the restriction purview.

‘We will reopen our factories from August 1,’ he told New Age on Friday.

When asked whether workers would be able to join work from August 1 amid the ‘strict’ restrictions, he said that they would resume operation with the workers who would be able to join.

Hatem hoped that the government would consider the movement of workers to join their work amid the restrictions.

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