Real estate, backward linkages at risk of collapse

Sohel Hossain Patwary

7 June, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Real estate, backward linkages at risk of collapse

The coronavirus pandemic has put the real estate sector in a complete halt, jeopardizing investments worth billions of taka and threatening around six million jobs in the sector and 418 backward linkage and allied industries.

The impact will be far-reaching as around 36 million people, mostly the family members and dependents of the employees and workers, will be affected by the setback in the real estate and backward linkage industries.

Besides, 20,000 construction managers, 10,000 diploma engineers, 3,000 undergraduate engineers and about 500 architects are also employed in the real estate sector.

In addition to weighing on the future potential of the sectors, the unprecedented disruption caused by the global crisis is also depriving the government of huge revenue from the real estate and housing sector. 

 Some 418 types of industries are directly linked to the real estate sector. These sub-sectors including brick, sand, rod, cement, construction, glass, aluminium, cable, lighting and many others large and small industries are in the brink of collapse due to a slump in demand amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Industry insiders said the real estate and housing sector remain stagnant over the last three months, affecting wage, employment and business.

In dire need of policy and budgetary support

In the wake of coronavirus epidemic, the realtors said they are in a dire need of policy support and working capital facilities to cope with the crisis caused by the pandemic.

Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) president Alamgir Shamsul AL Amin said backward linkage and allied industries of real estate sector have come to a complete halt situation due to the setback caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

It is the time now to reopen the real estate sector as per the health and safety guidelines to help the sector and allied industries to cope with the crisis and save jobs, he said.

To help revive the real estate and housing sector, the REHAB president sought budgetary initiatives and the facility to invest undisclosed money in the real estate sector without any question.            

 “If investors can get the chance to inject undisclosed money without any question, it will add value to country’s GDP,” said the REHAB president.

Mentioning that the real estate sector, which contributes around 15 per cent to the country’s GDP is facing an unprecedented time with around 3.5 million workers already losing jobs.

Md Shahidulla, vice-president of Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association, who also represents Bangladesh Steel Manufacturers Association, said cement and steel sector employs a large number of workers. Negative impact on this sector is affecting the entire economy.

 He also said the government should take special measure to save these sectors.

Affected industries

Under the civil work sub-sector--- rod, cement, ready-mix, all kinds of stone both local and imported, sand, bricks, auto bricks, hollow bricks, ceramic and concrete bricks industries have been affected badly by the crisis.

Cables, socket, circuit breaker, conduit PVC pipe, MK box, joint box, copper, lighting arrester, ebonite cover, push starter, cable tie, PIB pipe, digital meter, meter board, thread bulb, fan and light under electric industries are also taking a huge hit from the disruption caused by the pandemic.

In tiles and sanitary categories, industries like tiles, marble, granite, yellow stone, white cement, mosaic chips, cladding tiles, facing bricks, combiset--- both local and imported, all kinds of basins, long pan, fittings, bathtub, shower tray, conceal stop cock, hand shower, sink mixture, pillar cock, moving shower, basin waste, steel sink, steel items, basin waste pipe, lowdown fittings and gratings are struggling to survive due to stagnant real estate sector.

In the hardware sector, manufacturers of flower broom, stick broom, hairbrush, steel brush, polythene, door clamp, cutting foam, steel wire rope, masking tape, GI wire, rubber pipe, royal plug, sand screen net, water stopper, jhoot cloth, spade with handle, aica, canvas pipe, steel drum, PVC drum, tarpaulin, nut bolt, hummer, washer, carton tape, steel bucket, u-clamp, safety goggles, mosquito net, welding rod, wire mesh, silicon gum, star screw, safety belt, all kinds of tapes, helmet, steel wair, grease, foam disk, safety shoe, pipe clamps, shutter oil, bleaching powder, welding holder and hand gloves are facing tough times amid the corona crisis.

Lift, sub-station, RMU, VRF, solar system, generator, fire hydrant, lightning protection, lighting work, deep tubewell, PA system, intercom set, AVR, IPS industries have also been affected directly.

Sub-contracting industries or producers of curtain wall, aluminium, glass fixing grill, railing, safety shed, rolling shutter, fair face, scaffolding, steel props, fire door, cable ladder, steel door, steel structure, main gate, cloth string, louver door, boundary grill, waterproofing work, leakage treatment, plantation work, false ceiling work, sand filling, LPG system, interior, swimming pool, fountain, PVC ducting, staging, duco paint, light post, furniture work, epoxy flooring, toys, fair pace cluster, water replant products are also facing a steep fall in demand amid the Covid-19 situation.

The pandemic is also taking a toll on the manufacturers of construction equipment such as excavator, tower crane, roof hoist, tower hoist, wheel loader, forklift truck, motor grader, road roller machine, dragline excavator, bulldozers, trenchers, compactors, dump trucks, pile boring machine and truck. 

The demand for home appliances including refrigerator, television, coffee maker, home theatre, rice cooker, dish ball, washing machine, air conditioner, office chair, table, almirah and IT accessories has also come down significantly.

The office stationery sector has also been hit hard by the ongoing crisis. 

Besides, labour contracts like civil, electrical, sanitary, tiles, paint, woodworks, sewerage, soil text, pile work, earth excavation, breaking, bitumen carpeting, stone fitting, design brick walls, civil renovation, pipe laying, and cladding tiles are been directly affected as construction projects remain halted during the 66-day general holiday announced by the government to contain the spread of coronavirus.


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