Bangladesh industrial units going through a tough time due to non-availability of gas and electricity connections required to run the factory thus affecting production. Around 400 potential industrial units with an investment worth Tk 200 billion are bulk gas users, already have set up their establishments taking loans from banks but did not get gas connections yet. They could not go for production due to a lack of gas connections for the last four years.
The industries including ceramic and about 150 textile, readymade garment (RMG) units, mostly in Dhaka, Savar, Gazipur and Sreepur are now becoming burden following delay in their operation.
The factories like Esrak Textile and Panama Composite were built more than two years back with an investment of more than Tk 7.0 billion but haven't got gas connection yet.
Visiting the Titas Gas head office, the FE found a lot of owners of different industries and commercial enterprises trying to pursue top officials to manage gas connections.
An industrialist, who is also a leader of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI), told the FE, that more than 400 new plants including 150 textile and readymade garment (RMG) units are in trouble due to non-availability of gas and electricity connections.
He said that the average investment in each industrial unit is not less than Tk 500 million and the total investment is more than Tk 200 billion in the new plants.
Almost all the plants have remained idle for the last four years as they lack essential utility connections.
New gas connections to the industrial sector and households were suspended in June, 2009 and in July, 2010 respectively, due to gas shortage in the country.
The gas supply crisis has been forcing the entrepreneurs to keep away from going into production, said Jahangir Alamin, president of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA).
He said that since 2009 new gas connections remained suspended when an acute gas crisis prevailed in major areas of the country. More than 10 entrepreneurs in textile sector have set up their factories with the permission of the government, but now they are the worst victims.
Entrepreneurs, who have invested more than Tk 3.0 billion in the textile plant and have to pay bank interest regularly is making the project costly and inefficient.
He said that the country's leading conglomerates showed their interest in the sector as demand for textile goods is on the rise both in domestic and international markets.
Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Exporters' Association of Bangladesh (EAB) said more than 100 garment factories having all required machinery remained idle for months due to lack of gas connection.
He said that new industries naturally expect gas and power connections when they are registered with the Board of Investment (BOI).
He said that the new industrial units have completed all the formalities so the entrepreneurs demanded new gas connections for going into production.
When contacted, chairman of Petrobangla Hossain Mansur said that in recent times some 210 applications from the bulk consumers were approved for new gas connections.
Since 2009 new gas connection has remained suspended in major industrial belts due to the government's decision and awaiting government to give us green signal to resume.
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