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Covid-19: Textile mills in Narsingdi making a comeback

  • Published at 12:20 pm September 15th, 2020
Around 80% of the mills reopened in July and are currently running at full capacity Dhaka Tribune

A total of 5,000 small, medium, and large scale industries in the district that produce yarn and fabrics for the local market had shut down at the onset of Covid-19 outbreak in March

After months of hiatus brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of local industries including textiles and dyeing in Narsingdi have slowly started reopening.

The region, specifically Sadar and Raipura upazila, is famous for producing different sarees of artistic and aesthetic designs including Jamdani, Katan and Bruket. Different lungi, sarees, bedsheets, napkins, towels and mosquito nets are also made here.

The main areas where production takes places include Rasulpur, Karimpur, Jitrampur, Algi, Chawla, Hajipur, Satirpara, Bhagdi, Patchdona, and Madobdee. 

A total of 5,000 small, medium, and large scale industries in the district that produce yarn and fabrics for the local market were declared closed at the onset of Covid-19 outbreak in March. 

Around 80% of the mills reopened in July and are currently running at full capacity.

Demand for local textiles has been increasing as the invasion of cheaper alternatives from India, Pakistan and China stopped after borders with the neighbouring country were closed due to Covid-19, said the local businessmen.

This correspondent recently visited the district’s Sheikhchar (Baburhat), locally known as “Manchester of the East” by the weavers here and spoke to several people involved in their ancestral profession.

Local traders and businessmen said they were deprived of governments' bailout packages.

Rasidul Hasan Mintu, director of Molla Spinning Mills, said: “Activities in small, medium, and large scale mills including textiles, dyeing, printing, finishing and weaving mills have resumed. Many mills have gone into production at full capacity. Moreover, the demand for yarn has also increased.”

Narsingdi Dyeing and Printing Association’s President Aftab Uddin Bhuiyan said: “The demand for different kinds of fabrics including poline, voile, and printing has increased. We did not get any incentives from the government despite the fact that we cover almost 70% of the demand for the country's fabrics.”

“Around 60% of the country’s textile industries have reopened. But it will take time to reopen the rest. Many banks are reluctant while many industries’ owners do not have proper documents. For this reason, some problems have erupted in getting the government's bailout,” said Ali Hossain Shishir, president of Narsingdi Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

Abdullah Al Mamun, vice president of Bangladesh Textiles Mills Association (BTMA) and the president of Narsingdi Chamber of Commerce and Industries, said:  “The local textile industries were going through recession due to coronavirus. They are now trying to bounce back. Besides, demands for local cloths have increased as the smuggling of fabrics and clothes from different neighbouring countries including China and India has come to halt due to Covid-19. I am urging the government to ensure that these are not smuggled in future.”

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