The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA) has requested the Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited to show "empathy" as 129 apparel-makers with the Association membership are yet to clear Tk78 crore outstanding gas bills.
The gas supplier on 16 June sent separate lists of the gas bill defaulting apparel and textile manufacturers to Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), and the BGMEA.
Subsequently, the BGMEA replied to Titas on 27 June after verifying the due claims. The Association said it has asked the member factories to pay the dues as soon as possible.
According to BGMEA estimation, the number of gas bill defaulting factories is 129 with the outstanding dues of Tk78 crore, though Titas claimed 244 garment-makers owe around Tk143 crore to it.
The BGMEA says 73 of the 129 factories have utility dues ranging from one to three months.
The garment manufacturers association told Titas that it usually takes 120 days from receiving the orders to getting export bills after shipment. Therefore, Titas should only take actions against the apparel makers whose dues exceed 90 days.
The Association said, "Ready-made garment manufacturers are sincere about paying the utility bills, and they have been paying the gas bills regularly. Sometimes there are delays in payments due to unwanted situations."
With more than Tk747 crore dues to 625 textile and garments manufacturers until May this year, the Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited got tough to recover the outstanding bills.
The gas supplier said the government has been bringing in liquefied natural gas (LNG) since 2018 as the import bills have to be cleared as soon as the carrier docks. Any delay in the payments meets with additional fines.
The import payments led to a cash crunch in Titas resulting in the distributor to get tough now against the dues.
The Business Standard recently ran a report on the issue.