One of the main problems we see is that there is no long-term vision. If there is one, then there is a disconnect.
We are always accusing the government of having no coordination, but the same situation prevails in the private sector.
In December, the FBCCI sent a letter to Bangladesh asking for a loan moratorium, which means our business was in a bad condition and we had no capacity to repay the banks. But then a month later in January, the FBCCI proposed that gas prices be hiked by Tk25 per cubic metre.
We are not saying that the government should continue the subsidy on gas. The government has been giving many incentives to make us self-dependent.
But, we need a long-term policy. It can be mentioned if gas prices are to rise 20% every month.
There are contradictions here. If the price has to rise, then there should be a position paper or explainer for this.
We are talking about today's problems, but we see that next year's business projection is not rosy either.
In the textile and apparel sectors, buyers are saying that orders may go down in terms of volume from September. The USA might be facing a mini recession, and the effect of that will be a short term, at least six months. After that, when the USA recovers, Europe will go into recession.
Our exports depend on these two destinations, yet we are to see any long-term policy from the government to adapt to this.
The interest rate is another worry for us. For example, we have a new project which needs an investment of $100million. But due to the current situation of the dollar rate, we are holding back. If my export retention (dollar income) returns to a better shape, we can then plan investments.
When you said that the market will decide the gas price, why not open the dollar rate market? Trying to manage the dollar rate might push up capital flight, which will in turn affect the banking sector.
Shams Mahmud, Managing Director, Shasha Denims ltd & former president of DCCI