The sari industry in Tangail pushed into deep trouble due to the prevailing political crisis has forced factory owners to shut down many handlooms, leaving thousands of weavers jobless. The industry in the district has around 75,000 handlooms and employs over 2 lakh weavers.
Raghunath Basak, president of the Tangail Sari Association and a weaver at Pathrail urges the government to resolve the political crisis to save the traditional sari industry.
Handloom owners and weavers said that they were already facing pressure due to a hike in the cost of raw materials, including yarn and increasing labour costs. But the situation is even worse now as they are unable to sell the saris due to the volatile political scene. Leaving the handloom owners who have bank loans or debts with NGOs are in serious trouble as they are unable to pay the instalments or are they able to pay worker wages..
Handloom factory owner Mosharraf Hossain of Dhulutia village said that he has been forced to shut 40 out of 70 handlooms in his factory as he is yet to sell the saris produced earlier.
Weaver Nilkomol Basak, former general secretary of Tangail Sari Traders Association, said that sari sales dropped drastically recently.
Both weavers and buyers have abandoned the wholesale market.
The saris produced in different places in the district are mainly sold at the weekly Karatia market and wholesalers from across the country come to buy the famous Tangail sari.
Sari trader Shahidul Miah said that his sales plunged manifold from Tk 2 lakh recorded earlier on any market day.
Saris worth about Tk 3 crore to Tk 4 crore are sold at the market a week, which has dropped drastically since Eid-ul-Azha, as wholesalers and retailers are unable to come to the market for the blockades and hartals, said Mohammad Shajahan Ansary, a leading wholesaler of the weekly market.
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