Covid-19 Pandemic

Local industries need govt support to tackle impact: Experts

Sohel Hossain Patwary

27th March, 2020 08:31:03 printer

Local industries need govt support to tackle impact: Experts

In addition to the stimulus package for export-oriented industries, economists and local industrialists stressed the need for policy support and incentives for the local industries and manufacturers to tackle the long-term economic impact caused by Coronavirus.

The government has come up with a stimulus package for export-oriented industries to help limit the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, affecting 198 countries and territories around the world.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday announced the package of Tk 50 billion for export-oriented industries.

The fund can be used to pay the salaries of the workers, said the prime minister while addressing the nation.

Praising the incentive package for export-oriented industries, they observed that industries that do not export products but feed the local markets and contribute to the national economy would also need support.

So there should be some policy support and incentives for other industries and their employees so that they can cope up with the changing reality, they said.

Economist Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled said every unit of business is required to have some support system to cope with the losses caused by this global pandemic.

“A large number of people are engaged with trade and business out of the export-oriented sector. A clear guideline and support will be required to save those businesses and their employees,” he said, adding that the informal sector should get incentives as well.

Ibrahim Khaled, also a former deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank, said the stimulus or incentives should be spent properly. “Ensuring accountability will help fight the challenges more efficiently.”

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has already some initiative like relaxing the loan repayment system.

Tofazzal Hossain, a jute products producer who owns Immense Trading House Ltd, said that the jute sector largely meets the demand of local needs and has been hit hard by the Coronavirus outbreak.

“This sector which has 300 industries is going through a series of challenges,” he said, adding that the jute sector needs policy support in coming days to tackle the impact of the global pandemic.

Mir Nasir Hossain, a former President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI), said local industries and import substitutes companies also need support from the government to tackle the crisis.

“Employment will be hit hard due to the coronavirus outbreak in local industries. Taking notice of the facts, local manufacturers also need some support,” he added.

The export-earning industries bring foreign currency while local industries like food and allied, agriculture, cement, paper, engineering, light engineering, IT, power and many more sectors are the key to a balanced economy.

CPD Distinguished Fellow Dr Mustafizur Rahman said apart from export-oriented industries, local industries would directly get affected by the pandemic.

“These sectors will also need government’s support.”