Business leaders urged to create special fund
Abu Sazzad: Business leaders have underscored the need for creating special fund for making green factories in RMG sector as the sector is holding almost 80 percent of export earnings for the country.
Lauding the role of green industries in promoting country’s economy, the business leaders said around Tk 6,000 crore is needed to make the existing ready-made garment factories ‘green’.
The country needs to transform its conventional factories which would ensure more compliant from economical, social and environmental aspects”, said Fazle Shamin Ehsan, second Vice-President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) to the Daily Industry.
Talking about the major challenges to the RMG sector, the business leader said, source of finance is a major constraint to setting up of green factories in the country. Lack of technical expertise is another major problem in this regard, especially acute scarcity of experts.
Lack of knowledge and technology as well as scarcity of land is a vital problem to going green. Most of the factories are operating on rented land and building.
Moreover, increased cost of raw materials, energy, labour and environmental, social compliance are hampering production, he said adding that dependency on imported cotton and foreign skilled human resources are also the major reasons for the growth of the sector being hampered.
He urged the government to form a policy guideline for ‘green industry development’ comprising the existing national law, rules and act related to environment, water, electricity and global standard.
In order to harness the process of ongoing green industrialisation, the government has to allow duty-free import of required green technologies and equipments, he said. To overcome such challenges of the RMG sector, industry insiders said, allocation of adequate money is a must to make industries related to the RMG sector green.
He claimed, banks are not responding accordingly as per the demand of the factory owners, and for this, the making of green industry is being impeded.
Although the central bank created local and foreign fund to promote green industrialisation, it is not being implemented properly, he claimed.
The government plans to achieve $60 billion export earnings from all sectors, in which the target for the RMG sector is $50 billion by 2021, said Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Exporter Association of Bangladesh (EAB)
“We have to increase our productivity to attain the export target of the government as well as the sustainable development goal (SDG).
Murshedy said, it is a time-befitting demand to formulate a green industry policy for the RMG sector, so that it can contribute more to the national exchequer.
Considering the necessity of branding Bangladesh in a modern and sustainable way, the time is here for local manufacturers to adopt their own green compliance strategy in order to take advantage of business opportunities in the global market.
Nihad Kabir, President of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka (MCCI), underscored the need for investing more in green economy to attain a vibrant economy.
Bangladesh has been facing several challenges on the environmental front, including air and water pollution, loss of forests and their degradation, unsustainable use of fishery resources in water bodies, damage to the ecosystem and many more, the MCCI president observed.
“Joint efforts of the government and the private sector are a must to make a green Bangladesh. We have to work round the clock to overcome the challenges of ensuring a green growth.”
She suggested undertaking proper planning and implementation to develop green economy, and said that in this regard, the financial institutions can play the main role to promote the private sector.
Countries like Cambodia and Vietnam have integrated green growth plans into their economic policies. Thailand has come up with a multi-year development plan, which involves reducing energy intensity by 25 percent by 2030, she mentioned.
Sources said, some of the top readymade garments sourcing destinations, stakeholders have to abide by the compliance issues which traditionally and historically have been imposed by buyers or importers.
“Time has come now to voluntarily adopt green compliance issues as this is not only the requirement of the buyers but also necessary for the growth of the industrial sector”, they said
Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) said implementing green compliance issues in industrial sector requires policy support and enabling measures from the government to ensure green growth in the economy.