Business & Finance News
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Compiled by SDNP
business to a pause
M Abdur Rahim back from Savar
The owners of other flood-affected factories have shifted heavy machines to upper floors to keep production going but they can manage only partial operation as 40 percent of their workers are abstaining from duty due to the flood.
However, Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) in Savar is still safe from flood, M Kamal Akhtar, general manager of DEPZ, said yesterday.
Refat Ullah, chairman of Savar Pourashava, said the magnitude of flood has already crossed the 1998-level and the industries in the area will suffer huge loss due to the continued disruption of production.
"Half of the factories have already stopped production. The machines of garment, textile, spinning, dyeing and finishing factories are highly expensive and the owners are concerned more about the machines than production," he told The Daily Star.
Attendance in factories is also low as most of the workers' houses have gone under water. Crops on 4,000 hectares of land have been damaged and fishing farms will suffer Tk 10 crore loss as dikes are inundated by water, he said.
Though the Dhaka EPZ is yet to be affected by the flood, the DEPZ authorities are taking precautionary measures to face possible inundation.
The EPZ compound is two feet above flood level and if the factory basement is taken into account the EPZ is five feet above the level, the DEPZ general manager said.
The water level was 9.10 metres high yesterday around the EPZ while the water level needs to rise to 10.25 metres to enter EPZ and 12.25 metres for factory premises.
"We had meeting with investors to review the situation. At present, they have no problems other than low attendance of workers. Some investors are asking for space inside the EPZ for their workers whose houses have gone under water," Akhtar said.
The DEPZ authorities are taking help from Water Development Board and met office to continuously monitor the situation.
The investors are however concerned about the condition of partially inundated Dhaka-Ashulia road connecting the EPZ, the DEPZ official said.
The 355-acre exclusive industrial zone houses 72 local, foreign and joint venture enterprises providing employment to 50,000 people.
Established in 1993, DEPZ has a total investment of $304 million. In 2003-2004, $667 million worth of products were exported from the EPZ.
Emran Hossain, an official of Modhumoti Tiles at Hemayetpur, said, "We were forced to stop production when water reached the ground floor last week."
The premises of Pride Textiles, Navana Furniture, Aftab Automobiles, Anlima Dyeing and Printing, Kazi Mahi Hatcheries and Poultry, Samah Pharmaceuticals, National Beverage, Surma Foods and other factories in Hemayetpur area are now under waist-deep water and production has come to a halt.
"We are in distress. We don't know when we can resume production," Mizanur Rahman, an officer of Pride Textiles, said.
Pakija Textiles and Garments, Five Star Poultry, Universal Poultry and Hatchery and Yarakibu Poultry farm in Imandipur area are also affected by the deluge.
Hamidul Haque of Five Star Poultry said the sector is still suffering from the loss of bird flu scare and the flood has come as a final blow. "Farm owners having upper floors have huddled chickens there and who have not, are being forced to sell poultry birds at cheap rate due to shortage of space. We have stopped procuring new chicks for rearing."
Industrial units at Palashbari, Bank Town, Nama Bazar, Rajashan, Pandua, Islamnagar, Nabinagar and in and around Savar municipal area have been fully or partially submerged by floodwaters.
New Nation, By BSS, Dhaka
Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia on
Saturday hoped that the 13th SAARC Summit in Dhaka in January next year
would further strengthen the South Asian grouping to play a far-
reaching role in establishing peace, carrying out development and
alleviating poverty in the region.
Nation, By Staff Reporter
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA)
yesterday sought cooperation from the international buyers and their
local agents in Bangladesh to avoid stock lot of garments.
The Bangladesh Observer,
A high-powered pre-appraisal mission of ADB in a meeting at the Communications Ministry on Sunday discussed reform of Bangladesh railway sector to give it a modern look, reports UNB.
Communications Minister Nazmul Huda told the donors that the government has decided to make the railway sector more “dynamic and vibrant” and necessary reform programme would be implemented for upgrading Bangladesh railway.
The Asian Development Bank delegation, led by Tadashi Kondo, Transport and Communications Director of ADB South Asia Department, is in Dhaka to assist in different development projects of Bangladesh railway.
The delegation laid the highest emphasis on the uplift of Dhaka-Chittagong “economic rail corridor” as they said import-export trade of Bangladesh would be enhanced alongside augmentation of operational capacity of Chittagong seaport.
They emphasized formulation of an action plan for strengthening the activities of Bangladesh railway. “ADB is very eager to assist in various infrastructure development projects of Bangladesh railway. But our investment will totally depend on the implementation of reform for the Bangladesh railway,” the team was quoted as telling the government side at the meeting.
Nazmul Huda told the mission that reform programme of Bangladesh railway would be placed at cabinet meeting for approval and initiative taken for its implementation.
Communications Secretary Shafiqul Islam and DG of Bangladesh Railway AFM Mustafizur Rahman were present among others.
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