Ceramic sector seeks soft loans to revive businesses

Jannatul Islam

12 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Ceramic sector seeks soft loans to revive businesses

Entrepreneurs in the ceramic sector have urged the government to provide soft loans to help them cope with the challenges created by the second wave of the corona pandemic.

Ahead of national fiscal planning, the Bangladesh Ceramic Manufacturer and Exporters Association (BCMEA) wrote to Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal with a three-point demand for stimulus, soft loans and utility waiver.

Regarding the proposal, BCMEA General Secretary Irfan Uddin said the government has to include the ceramic sector in the stimulus deals as businesses in this sector are struggling to survive amid a fall in the demand for ceramic products during the pandemic.

“The second wave of corona pandemic has affected the sector badly as most of the infrastructure development projects remain stalled. At this point, we placed the recommendations to reform the policy to attract more investment in the sector,” Irfan Uddin told the Daily Sun on Monday.

BCMEA President Shirajul Islam Mollah also sent the copies of the letter to the Principal Coordinator of the Prime Minister’s Office, Bangladesh Bank Governor and NBR chairman.

Over half a million people are employed directly and indirectly in the sector. Industry insiders said the local market helped the industry survive the export shocks triggered by the pandemic.

Over 60 companies are currently manufacturing ceramic goods in the country and supplying the products to Europe, the United States and the Middle East. Local manufacturers produce three types of ceramic goods – tableware, tiles and sanitary items.