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POST TIME: 15 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Industries needed, but not at cost of food, environment

Industries needed, but not at cost of food, environment

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina while addressing the 34th meeting of the Board of Governors of the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) Tuesday rightly put emphasis on rapid industrialisation without reducing food production in the country. True, industrialisation is essential to generate employment, increase export volume, internal demand and purchasing capacity, and improve socioeconomic condition of people alongside developing the country further. But it is needed to be careful so that food production is not affected by industrialisation.

It is a fact that the country needs quick industrialization for its onward march, alleviation of poverty and solution to growing unemployment problem. During the past few years RMG sector has contributed immensely to the economic development of the country by providing millions of men and women. But Bangladesh cannot depend on the contribution of the garment sector alone for achieving the desired economic progress. For a robust economy, we need to have several industrial sectors. The target to achieve the SDG in the near future will be remote unless sustainable industrial progress is achieved.

Before setting up an industrial estate, ground should be prepared first. Building infrastructure is one of the vital factors for an industrial estate. If there is any setback related to it the whole project is likely to suffer. It is the responsibility of the relevant authorities to create a congenial environment for the entrepreneurs to invest in their projects. After the emergence of Bangladesh, the country had to bear the stigma of ‘bottomless basket’. Successive governments and entrepreneurs made efforts to industrialise the country successfully.  Bangladesh has not only been able to free itself from the stigma but also managed to establish its status in the comity of nations.  

The issue of food security should be kept in mind. The relevant authorities should take all possible measures so that food production does not decrease in the name of industrialisation. It is a grim reality that arable land is decreasing in the country due to construction of dwelling houses and establishment of industrial units. These are hampering food production. Industrial units are also contributing to environmental pollution. Most of the owners of industrial units do not follow environmental rules. Setting up of effluent treatment plant in each industrial unit can halt pollution.