Only 1,632 out of 8,500 textile and clothing units have so far registered with the Department of Textile (DoT), a legal requirement to run business in Bangladesh.
Sources said the government in October 2018 made it mandatory for all textile and clothing industries, including subsectors, to be listed with the DoT.
According to the textile law, all textile subsectors like primary textiles, ready-made garment (RMG), allied textiles, packaging and accessories manufacturers and buying houses, must get registered.
The DoT has been empowered as the 'sponsoring authority' to provide services to the textile and clothing industry.
Until last August, officials said, 1,632 industries that included 743 RMG units, 397 buying houses and 492 textile and other industries have so far registered with the department concerned.
Data available with the DoT shows an estimated 8,500 textile industries are operating across the country.
Of them, some 425 are spinning mills, 796 weaving, knitting and other fabric manufacturing units, and 449 specialised textiles and power looms.
About 5,327 export-oriented RMG factories (knit and woven), 955 garment accessory units, 240 dying, printing and finishing units and 104 terry-towel industries are operating here, according to the data.
Industry people, however, alleged that DoT registration is nothing but a hindrance with a blizzard of documents and it has nothing to do with business activities.
They argued that their business is very much connected with commerce, finance and industries ministries and state-run Export Promotion Bureau, Tariff Commission and other organisations under those ministries.
"We've hardly any relations with textiles and jute ministry and DoT. Even during the pandemic, they didn't provide any service or want to know the problems of the industry."
Talking to the FE, some terry-towel and textile millers said they opposed the mandatory DoT registration many times before enacting the law.
They suspected that bribery and other types of corruption might be involved in completing the registration process with the government organisation.
When asked, DoT director general Dilip Kumar Saha said industries are coming and they are giving registration.
More industries will get registered with the DoT as the central bank has asked all banks to ensure registration at the time of opening letters of credit, he mentioned.
On September 03, the Bangladesh Bank in a circular said some buying houses, and textile and clothing mills have been doing business violating a provision of the textile law.
Such malpractice has been tarnishing the country's image abroad, it noted.
The regulator advised banks to ensure that the legal requirement of having DoT certification is fulfilled before rendering banking services.
The DoT in a letter on July 27 requested the National Board of Revenue for the same.