The Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) recently demanded reduction in income tax rate from 15 per cent to 12.5 per cent till 2028 and inclusion of yarn and fabric as items exempt from value-added tax (VAT) as the sale of local yarn and fabric, which are being imported under false declarations and duty-free facilities, has drastically declined.

More than half—around 50,000-60,000—power looms are closed for a long period, according to BTMA President Mohammad Ali Khokon. BTMA apprehends more mills to shut down due to lack of new work orders, according to a report. In the country’s spinning mills, only 80 lakh spindles are running out of 1 cr 10 lakh, said Khokon.

Woven dying mills have reduced their capacity below 40 per cent while export-oriented spinning mills are forced to sell their products at a lower rate compared to their production cost resulting in huge stockpiling of yarn and fabric, he noted. If the situation continues, factories may be unable to pay wages, he cautioned.

Over 8 to 10 lakh pieces of apparel are illegally entering Bangladesh annually through 17 border markets and the items were being taken to Dhaka city through the railways. BTMA leaders also urged the government to stop the misuse of bonded warehouse facilities.