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5 December, 2018 10:20:13 AM
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RMG makers eye plants in rural areas

Sharif Ahmed, Dhaka
RMG makers eye plants in rural areas

Apparel exporters are showing interest in establishing factories in rural areas to enjoy a win-win scenario due to easy availability of workers and the chance to generate rural employment.

Experts and entrepreneurs have said the expansion of garments units to rural areas is helping the apparel sector to gradually spread to rural regions from a handful of industrial belts in urban areas.

Approximately 150 export-oriented apparel factories have already been established in rural areas of different districts, according to experts.   

Talking to the Independent, Maqsudul Islam, director of Triple Seven Apparels Ltd, a subsidiary company of San Apparels Ltd, said: “We have established our factories on 21 bighas of land in a remote place called Amtoli village in Magura.”

He also said that each of the 240,000 sq ft floor of the factory is centrally airconditioned.  “We started our production line in December 2016 with four swing lines. This has now extended to 16 swing lines. From next year, we are planning to add 10 more swing lines,” he added.                 

When asked about the employment opportunity, Maqsudul Islam said that 1,500 people are currently working in the factory. “We have the capacity of producing around four lakh units of woven items a month,” he added.

Explaining the benefits, Maqsudul Islam said factories in rural areas help garment workers to live in close proximity to their own village areas, where the living cost is much lower than in the city.      

“Rural people don’t have enough experience about the garment sectors. We train them to cope up with the production lines,” he explained.  “We firmly maintain the wage board's directives. So, there is no chance that rural workers are paid less than their urban counterparts,” he said.  

“We're planning to set up another factory in Bhaluka  For that, we're importing every kind of machinery,” he added.  

However, Maqsudul Islam said the new wage structure will be implemented from January next year, jacking up the cost by 40 per cent. “We have obtained compliance certificates from renowned international buyers like including ZARA, H and M, Next and Bestseller,” he added.  

The Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers' and Exporters' Association (BGMEA) vice-president (finance), Mohammed Nasir, said: “Garment factories are now sprea all over the country. This is going to boost the rural economy by creating employment opportunities."    

“We have seen garment factories in Dhaka, Chattogram, Narayanganj and Gazipur. But the trend is changing as the economy of rural communities are changing rapidly,” he added.       

If a factory is established in a rural area, it adds value to other economic activities like small businesses, house rent services, bank and insurance facilities and hospital facilities, among other, he observed.

Khondaker Golam Moazzem, research director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said that apparel exporters have done a admirable job by establishing garments factories in rural areas.  

The government needs ensure proper infrastructure in remote areas where the factories are being established. Backward and forward factories have to be there to support the garments factories, he added.

According to the Department of Factories and Establishment, some of these factories are: San Apparels Ltd at Amtoli under in Magura district, Amir Shirts Ltd at Supua village under Chowddagram upazila in Comilla, Nurani Dyeing and Sweater Ltd under Fatehpur in Feni, Impress-Newtex Composite Textiles Ltd under Mirzapur upazila in Tangail, Bornali Fabrics under Sadar upazila in Munshiganj and Leeu Fashion Ltd at Meharabari, Hazir Bazar, under Valuka upazila of Mymensingh.

BK

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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