Dedicated light engineering industrial parks will be set up in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Jashore, Bogura and Narsingdi districts to implement the immense potential of the domestic light engineering industry for national economic progress.
At the same time, a Light Engineering Training Institute will be set up as well to provide a supply of skilled manpower for the industries set up in the industrial parks.
Moreover, initiatives will also be taken to increase the skills of domestic manpower in training institutes using world class trainers and technology.
The decision was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting on Tuesday to decide what needs to be done to implement the activities identified by the Ministry of Industry for the development of light engineering.
Secretary of the industries ministry KM Ali Azam presided over the meeting held at the conference room of the ministry.
Md Helal Uddin, additional secretary of the ministry, highlighted the recommendations made for the development the light engineering industry.
SME Foundation Managing Director Md Shafiqul Islam, Bangladesh Chamber of Industries (BCI) President Anwarul Alam Chowdhury (Parvez), BSCIC Director Dr Md Abdus Salam, Md Selim Uddin, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Industries, Md Abdur Razzak, President, Bangladesh Light Engineering Industry Owners Association, among others, were present at the event.
The meeting discussed setting up of dedicated industrial parks to accelerate the ongoing development activities in the light engineering industry; providing low cost funds and financial incentives for entrepreneurs; creating skilled workers and managers through training; marketing of manufactured goods; development of subcontracting industry and formulation of the legislation; and formulation of the engineering industry policy.
The meeting was informed that the Ministry of Industries has already started the work of formulating light engineering industrial policies for the development of a light engineering industry.
The policy will be finalised in consultation with the concerned stakeholders.
Moreover, initiatives will be taken to enact subcontracting laws to ensure marketing of products manufactured by the entrepreneurs.
The Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) was instructed to draft the law speedily.
Further, prior to the enactment of the law, it was decided to include the issue in the National Industrial Policy to increase the sales opportunities of the entrepreneurs under the subcontracting rules.
Speaking on the occasion, the Industries Secretary said that the importance of the light engineering industry has increased a lot as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has declared it as the "Product of the Year" this year.
"This industry is already developing in different parts of the country. There is no alternative to setting up a dedicated industrial park to harness the huge potential of the light engineering industry in a planned way," he said.
KM Ali Azam, the secretary of the Ministry of Industries continued, "For the convenience of the entrepreneurs, complete one-stop service should be ensured in 76 industrial cities of BSCIC including the light engineering industrial park."
He also suggested setting up dedicated light engineering industrial parks in five districts as soon as possible.
The secretary also suggested allocation of 200 acres out of 400 acres of land in the automobile industrial city, which is under implementation in Narsingdi, for light engineering industries.
It is mentionable that the current market for light engineering products in Bangladesh is around Tk30,000 crore.
Of this, products worth Tk9,000 crore are manufactured in the country. The rest of the products are imported.
The demand for light engineering products in the global market is US$7 trillion. Of this, Bangladesh is exporting goods worth US$349 million.
After the readymade garments, the light engineering sector has the opportunity of export and value addition. There is also an option of creating employment opportunities as this is a labour intensive sector.
Considering the prospects, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has declared light engineering products as "Product of the Year" for the year 2020 to increase exports. In this context, the Ministry of Industries has taken this initiative to utilise the existing potentials in this industry for economic development.