Strikes severely affect Bangladesh leather sector

6 February 2015

The Bangladesh Tanners' Association claims that the domestic leather industry has suffered to the tune of Tk4.5 billion (nearly $58 million) due to ongoing blockades enforced by an alliance led by the Bangladesh National Party (BNP).

The organisation has urged various political parties to solve the impasses through constructive dialogue.

"The country's transport system has collapsed due to the ongoing political unrest and violence," said association president Shaheen Ahmed. "It has created a serious crisis in the transport of leather and leather goods. Transport of finished leather and leather goods to the Chittagong port has become almost impossible. Transport costs have tripled. But there is no surety of the goods reaching the port despite that. We're facing huge losses."

Currently, there is a demand for a 10% cash incentive on exports to make up the losses.

The association also demanded the constitution of a Tk50 billion ($644million) fund to extend low-interest loans to the sector.

Ahmed also said the Tk1.5 billion ($19.5million) pledged by the government to shift tanneries from Dhaka's Hazaribagh to Savar was 'insufficient'.

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