Comprehensive green growth strategy a must to reap benefits

Role of pvt sector in promoting green business

FE Report | Published: June 11, 2018 11:09:52 | Updated: June 13, 2018 10:09:00

National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan addressing a public-private dialogue on Sunday — FE photo

Bangladesh's progress in green business in a number of cases is yet to leave any visible impact on effective and efficient green growth businesses.

Lack of a comprehensive green growth strategy is the main reason for such a failure to build a robust economy based on green technology and innovation.

Speakers at a public-private partnership dialogue observed on Sunday that the absence of a comprehensive green growth strategy created vacuum in enjoying the green benefits and ensuring sustainability of the investment later on.

They also laid emphasis on identifying a framework for a successful green business model and establishing a platform for promoting green business.

They also observed that the private sector mainly readymade garment industry (RMG) has made progress in green business for its own interest.

But new industries are yet to play their due role, they said.

Centre on Budget and Policy (CBP) of Dhaka University and Asia Foundation organised the dialogue titled 'Role of private sector in promoting green business in Bangladesh' at the NBR conference room in the city.

NBR Chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan attended the dialogue as the chief guest.

Former deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank SK Sur Chowdhury and Managing Director of Apex Footwear Limited Syed Nasim Manzur attended as special guests.

During the dialogue, chairman of Department of Development Studies and CBP Dr M Abu Eusuf presented a study paper on the role of the private sector in promoting green growth.

In his paper, Dr Eusuf showed that the private sector from its own initiative has invested in green business but this role could not help the industry to be green due to lack of comprehensive green growth strategy.

From the lessons learned from RMG sector, the study found that the initiatives could not play due role in creating green jobs, adopting green technology and categorising industries in compliance with the concept of green business, green investment and green infrastructure.

Sustainability of those RMG factories as green business also faces challenges for the country due to lack of both fiscal and policy incentives.

Adequate financial incentive and specific policy guidelines and multi sectoral approach are sine qua non to promote green growth, the CBP director added.

The NBR chairman emphasised on increasing adequate capacity to go green and get due benefits from the buyers.

He said the government has some limitations in expediting the process of policy formulation and providing necessary interventions. As such, it is imperative to provide policy support for achieving 7th five-year plan and sustainable development goals.

The chairman also said that an organised private sector can play a vital role in continuing negotiation with both the government and the international agencies and fulfil their legitimate demands for the welfare of the economy.

RMG sector's development was also possible for the role played by the pressure group in getting incentives from the government including tax-related benefits, the NBR chairman pointed out.

Mr Nasim Manzur focused more on the sustainability than getting recognition as green through international certification. He urged the government to ensure level playing field by providing necessary incentives including tax benefits to all the sectors like RMGs.

He said many factories adopted green technology to be competitive in the international market but they are yet to get return due to lack of necessary incentives.

Mr Nasim Manzur, also a former president of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka (MCCI) urged the government to lay thrust on capacity building and improving the certification standard of the country as many sectors including leather industry faces non-tariff barriers.

If the government penalises the green sector instead of supporting, many industries will be discouraged to invest.

The former deputy governor of BB laid importance on the role of the private sector in popularising new concepts and said the central bank has introduced a number of refinancing window with single digit interest for green financing.

He also stressed on formulating a committee or a working group who will work to identify weaknesses in the green business and propose necessary interventions to ensure the sustainable growth of the business.

Owners and leaders of RMG and leather industries and association including Dr Zebun Nasreen Ahmed of Architecture Department of BUET, Saiful Islam of Envoy Textile Limited, Saiful Islam of Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh and Monwar Hossain of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association spoke on the occasion.

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