It has become difficult for small and cottage industry entrepreneurs to buy a plot of land in the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) industrial zone in Barishal, as BSCIC has raised the price of land.
Towards the beginning of last year, the price per decimal of land was Tk29,000. But sincer the current fiscal year started, it was raised to Tk2 lakh.
Small and cottage industry entrepreneurs want the price to be reduced so that they can purchase plots there.
Each plot of land on the BSCIC estate is at least seven decimal in size, going up to a maximum of 37 decimals.
Arifur Rahman, owner of Hasina Cottage Industry, said he needed a plot of land for his industry but it was impossible for him to buy there due to the high price.
"I have now rented a parcel of land on the estate to set up my factory. But I cannot do anything there permanently, as I am not the owner of the plot of land. And so I cannot increase production, despite a huge demand for my products in the market," he said.
There are 110 new plots being developed in the industrial city now.
There are a total of 470 plots in the estate, including the new plots.
Of them, 360 plots were allotted to entrepreneurs earlier.
Of the owners of these plots, 100 are running their factories in the estate.
The rest have either kept their plots vacant or rented them out to other small entrepreneurs.
Regarding the price hike, Md Jalish Mahmud, deputy general manager of Barishal BSCIC, said, "The cost of developing the land for the 110 new plots has increased several fold, and so land prices have also increased. Maybe it will be difficult to allocate plots to small entrepreneurs due to the higher prices."
Of the 110 plots, 100 plots are being developed full swing. There will be no delay in allotting the plots to entrepreneurs after completion of the development work, he said.
A written notice was issued towards the end of last year to owners whose plots were still lying vacant, and to landowners on the estate, renting out warehouses on their plots of land.
The notice asked them to vacate the plots or set up industries there, he added.
The owners have been given a set amount of time to act on the notice. If they do not start setting up industries there within the time frame, the plots will be allotted to other entrepreneurs, according to Jalish.
Kamal Ahmed Majumder, the state minister for industries, told The Business Standard that the market price of land had gone up. Besides, maintenance and development costs have also increased, he said.
"We have already reduced the price by Tk30,000 per decimal. It was Tk2.3 lakh per decimal earlier, and now it is Tk2 lakh. However, we are reconsidering the issue of high prices. The incumbent government is industry-friendly and we are ready to take any and all measures to develop the industrial sector," said Kamal Ahmed Majumder.