Shipbuilding policy soon to tap export potential
Final draft after August 30
The government has drafted the shipbuilding industry development policy-2019 with an eye to developing the sector in view of its export potential, officials said.
Under the move, industries ministry has prepared the draft policy so that the shipbuilding sector could boost the national economic growth.
"We've prepared a draft 'shipbuilding industry development policy-2019' considering the sector's export potential," said a higher ministry official who deals with the matter.
The draft policy has suggested preparing a master plan for shipbuilding industry that is set to create 0.1 million jobs, he told the FE.
The highly prospective industry is also projected to earn $4.0 billion by exporting ships abroad within the next five years.
The local shipyards have so far exported 40 ships to different countries in Europe, Africa and Asia and earned $180 million.
A hundred domestic shipyards and dockyards are capable of building ships of international standards, according to the shipbuilders.
Bangladesh is now building 10,000 dead weight tonnage (DWT) ships.
An estimated 7,000 small and big-size water vessels are plying 22,115 kilometres of the inland waterways.
The official said the proposed policy has also accentuated the need for building capacity of the industry by providing soft loan and tax rebate for further development.
It has suggested formation of a 24-member national council to oversee implementation, monitoring and evaluation of shipbuilding and create skilled manpower for the sector.
The policy has proposed public-private partnership for building state-of-the-art dockyards/shipyards, harnessing blue economy and lowering bank interest rate to 4.0 per cent with 20 years of repayment period.
It has also called for sovereign bank guarantee facility, performance guarantee, letter of credit (non-funded facility) and creating a fund for the development of the sector.
Guideline of backward linkage industry, steps to build DWT, cargo and container ships, bulk carrier, tugboat, offshore dredger, patrol vessel, fishing trawler and survey vessel have also been recommended.
Meanwhile, the ministry has requested other line ministries and departments and stakeholders to send their recommendations on the draft policy by August 30.
After the recommendations land, according to officials, the ministry will fine-tune the policy and send it to the cabinet for approval.