Ready-made garment (RMG) factory owners as well as Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), have criticized the government’s move of imposing 6.96 per cent increase in power tariff. The industry body in a statement said that it will result in the reduction of competitiveness of the export-oriented industry.
BGMEA says in a statement, factors such as the increase in the RMG production cost by 13 per cent over the recent past and the rise in the value of taka by 8.0 per cent against the dollar have already constricted the export profit. A rise in power tariff would further adversely affect the export industry.
Bangladesh RMG factories have already been in the news for inappropriate working conditions and the recent calamities at Tazreen and Rana Plaza claiming several lives. Global initiative is now helping victims of the tragedy while also assisting factories improve their work conditions. However, now left-leaning fronts have warned of agitation if the government does not roll back a rise in electricity rates. The main opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and the left fronts held separate rallies in Dhaka near the energy ministry to protest the hike. Power prices have been raised 11 times since the Awami League-led government took office in 2009.
The country's experts have expressed concern over increase in electricity tariff which, they fear may jeopardise the country's industrial growth.