Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan has requested another stimulus package to pay wages and Eid bonuses to workers.
"We have explained the overall situation of the apparel industry during the pandemic and requested for another stimulus package, not any grant, to pay wages and bonuses to workers next month," Faruque Hassan told The Business Standard after a meeting with Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam on Tuesday.
"We want to keep our factories running even though most of the factories are producing significantly less than their capacity due to lack of orders," he added.
He further said that the global industrial sector has been facing challenges over the last 1.5 years and everywhere employment has been affected. The Bangladeshi apparel industry is running its units at breakeven cost.
BGMEA former presidents Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin and Abdus Salam Morshedy were also present at the meeting.
On 24 April, BGMEA, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) jointly sent a letter to the Minister of Finance AHM Mostafa Kamal, requesting to allocate a soft loan with easy terms like last year for apparel industries to pay salaries, allowances, and bonuses to their workers for April, May, and June 2021.
According to the letter, due to the second wave of the Covid-19 around the world, lockdowns have been reintroduced in many countries for which buyers who promised payments are now showing reluctance to do so. This has put the exporters in the country under immense pressure to pay wages and bonuses to the workers.