Commerce minister Tipu Munshi on Saturday said that the government would consider a fresh stimulus package for the country’s readymade garment sector if the business situation of the sector deteriorated due to the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak.
‘We may consider incentives for the readymade garment sector amid the second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak and the loan repayment time under the existing package should be increased,’ the commerce minister said while he was inaugurating ‘Go Human Go Green’, an initiative taken by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
At the virtual event Tipu Munshi said that the BGMEA requested the commerce ministry to consider incentives like the exiting stimulus package and increase the tenure for repayment of stimulus loans due to the second wave of COVID-19.
‘We have requested the finance ministry to take a positive stand on any new incentive for the RMG sector,’ the commerce minister said.
Cabinet secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said that a fresh stimulus package might be considered as it would be difficult for the export sector to come out from the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak in one or two years.
He, however, said that facing challenges of the fourth industrial revolution would be tougher than those of the COVID-19 for Bangladesh.
He feared that more than 53 lakh people might lose their jobs as the existing education and skills were not appropriate to face the challenges of 4th IR.
BGMEA president Rubana Huq made seven pledges under the ‘Go Human Go Green’ in line with the vision of Sustainable Development Goals.
The pledges include the issues of workers’ education, early childhood learning of workers’ children, mental health of workers, sustainability, culture export of Bangladesh, workers’ health, and industry innovation and efficiency.
The BGMEA president said that 70 female garment workers had been given chance to pursue their graduation at Asian University of Women with the assistance from the respective factory owners towards meeting the needs of their educational expenses.
BGMEA and Jaago Foundation have partnered in an initiative to provide online education for the workers’ children during the day time when they spend their time in the factory day care centres, she said.
‘We are launching these initiatives with a hope to reposition our industry’s approach to social and environmental causes, which will lay significant stepping stones towards pursuing SDGs,’ Rubana said.
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