Textile and garment manufacturers and exporters today demanded the government to keep factories open during the lockdown to help them offset the losses.
Failure to continue production and ship goods in time will cause them huge losses, and they fear the work orders may also get shifted from Bangladesh to other countries.
The leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) and some top garment manufacturers and exporters made the call at a joint press conference at Pan Pacific Sonargaon in Dhaka.
The leaders of Bangladesh Terry Towel and Linen Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Garments Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association also took part in the press conference.
The local garment suppliers have been struggling to recover the losses they incurred during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, said Mohammad Abdus Salam, acting president of BGMEA.
Bangladesh exported garment items worth $34.12 billion in fiscal year 2018-19, which came down to $27.94 billion in the next year, Salam said.
Moreover, work orders worth $3.18 billion were either cancelled or held up by the international retailers and brands due to the fallouts of the epidemic.
Later 90 per cent work orders were reinstated with discount and delayed payment, he said.
Similar situation may arise again if production is disrupted and timely shipment is missed, he said.
Adequate safety measures have already been taken at the factory levels to protect the workers from the Covid-19 infection, said Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, former BGMEA president.
Faruque Hassan, BGMEA president-elect, sought cooperation from the government for keeping the factories open as there is a fear of losing the work orders.
Hassan also said the factory owners will have to face troubles in paying the salaries and festival allowances for the workers if they cannot run production and ship goods as per schedule.