Govt fixes area-wise holidays for factories

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Dhaka, Aug 11: The government has fixed different weekly closure days (staggering holidays) for industrial areas to ensure an uninterrupted power supply in factories across the country.

In a notificiation on Thursday (11 August), the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) said the step has been taken in public interest.

Earlier on 7 August, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resource Nasrul Hamid said that the government decided to keep all factories closed once a week under an area-wise rationing system in a bid to minimise load shedding.

However many industry leaders  and investors fear they will still face production loss. They said that the businesses are already overwhelmed after the gas and oil price hike followed by power and gas supply shortage.

“The garment industry is reeling under two-pronged pressures. On the one hand from gas and power shortages and on the other hand, declining consumer demand due to inflationary pressures in key export destinations of the garment industry,” BGMEA acting president Shahidullah Azim said.

“Now with the increase in the price of fuel, the system of generating electricity with its own generator has also become expensive.

Therefore, it is now challenging for the industry to ship exports on time,” he added.

Al Shahriar Ahmed, managing director of Adzi Trims Ltd, said a rationing is a good move, but it should be considering the power demands of industrial zones in Savar, Ashulia, Gazipur and Narayanganj.

Shahriar, also a director of Bangladesh Garments Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association, requests for a future guideline on power supply to alleviate concerns among the businessmen.

Officials of Meghna Group, the country’s top consumer goods producer with more than fifty factories, said they need to keep their factory units open 24 hours and 365 days.