Bangladesh Garment Buying House Association has demanded a reduction in Advance Income Tax (AIT) to 5.0 per cent from the existing 10 per cent in the next budget.
“Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we are expecting that a limited volume of work orders would be placed in the coming months,” BGBA President Kazi Iftekhar Hossain said at a press conference held in Dhaka on Saturday.
The buying houses are yet to receive any fund from the government’s announced stimulus package, he said adding local buying houses are struggling to survive.
The local buying houses help bringing work orders to local apparel exporters from foreign buyers and perform the trading and marketing parts, he said proposing a 5.0 per cent reduction in existing advanced income tax in the upcoming budget.
The Bangladesh Garment Buying House Association (BGBA) leader also urged the government to provide tax holiday for three years to the new buying houses.
He demanded easy loans for the buying houses from the government-announced package so that they can survive during this coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Hossain, however, said the ongoing pandemic might be an opportunity for local exporters as global demand for items like masks, personal protective equipment, hospital bed sheets, and isolation fabric is increasing globally.
"The domestic demand for these items has also increased. So, we should take advantage of this opportunity," Mr Hossain added.
"The local and global market size of these items is worth billions of dollars. We can easily grab this market,” the BGBA leader said.
The backward linkage industries like spinning, weaving, and dyeing sectors of the country would also be benefited, he said.
Mr Hossain in his written speech said they are not in favour of terminating workers and proposed to use the workforce jointly including factory owners, government, and other stakeholders to avoid any untoward indiscipline in the country.
Some 0.4 million employees are working in 826 apparel buying houses in the country, he added.
Criticising some foreign buyers like Debenhams that laid off its Bangladesh office having 69 employees, he urged the government to monitor the foreign buying houses and their liaison offices activities.
Terming blacklisting or taking administrative measures against global buyers not ‘business-friendly’, the BGBA leader said garment exports is not possible without global buyers and such measures might have a negative impact on business.
He admitted that legal measures should be taken if any buyer violates the law. But it is not wise to blame all in general.
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