Shipbuilders call for policyStaff correspondent
Shipbuilders on Wednesday urged the government to formulate a comprehensive shipbuilding policy to reduce the existing constraints in the shipbuilding sector.
At a seminar, speakers pointed out that Bangladesh’s shipbuilding sector lacks single-digit bank interest, exemption of import duty on shipbuilding materials, tax holiday, shipyard zone, backward linkage and adequate infrastructure support, specially power and ports.
In Bangladesh, 1,00,000 skilled and 1,50,000 semi-skilled workers are engaged in the shipbuilding industry. But government initiative is too insufficient to support and promote this sector, they said.
Business Initiative Leading Development organised the seminar on ‘Unlocking the Investment Potential of the Shipbuilding Industry’ at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in the capital.
Germanischer Lloyd vice-president Falk Rothe presented a keynote paper where he observed ‘it is not unrealistic for Bangladesh to achieve an export target of $2 billion in ships and vessels by 2015’.
Bangladesh Tariff Commission chairman Md Mozibur Rahman said that though the government has declared shipbuilding as a thrust sector, it needs to make a shipbuilding policy and set up a special economic zone for shipbuilding.
He said that shipbuilding is a capital and labour intensive industry and to promote this sector adequate incentive is very important.
Export Promotion Bureau vice-chairman Shubhashish Bose said that the government is going to provide refinancing scheme of Tk 200 crore for the shipbuilding sector which is now under consideration of the finance division.
Ananda Shipyard chairman Abdullahhel Bari said that the government should arrange credit on single digit interest to the growing ship building industry.
He suggested that the government should provide subsidy to the country’s ship building industry just as neighbouring India provides 30 per cent subsidy to its shipbuilding companies.
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Asif Ibrahim, Western Marine Shipyard Ltd managing director Md Sakhawat Hossain and GL Bangladesh managing director AKM Masud Karim addressed the seminar.
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