Bangladesh cement industry seeks stimuli to meet challenges of COVID-19

Bangladesh cement industry seeks stimuli to meet challenges of COVID-19
23 April 2020

Bangladesh's cement industry is facing numerous challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic and sees no immediate respite as the government plans to further extend the lockdown period. The lockdown has reportedly disrupted production, dispatches and handling import of raw materials at port.
The trading of seven cement companies' scripts in Bangladesh's two stock exchanges will also continue to remain unavailable, as the government is likely to further extend holidays from 25 April to 5 May, to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
Industries and businesses were initially asked to shutter their operations from 26 March until 4 April, but the shutdown has since been extended to 25 April and now until first week of May.
The continued lockdown has caused financial issues to cement manufactures and Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association (BCMA) has urged the government to announce a stimuli for them to overcome payment of salaries to employees, payment to utilities bills and other taxes for July to December to overcome the present crisis, following the prolonged lockdown enforced to contain COVID-19.
"It will be possible for the cement manufacturers to pay the salary of workers and employees if gradual installments are allowed to pay the bills of gas and electricity and other taxes for July to December,"  BCMA president, Md Alamgir Kabir, said in a statement to local media.
He said the cement manufacturers are bearing current expenses along with paying salaries of their workers and employees, despite production remaining closed for around 90 per cent of factories.
"The LCs (letters of credit) opened so far to import raw materials have become a big burden for the manufacturers amid no prediction regarding quick improvement of the situation," Mr Kabir said.
He said 49 mother vessels presently are waiting in the sea ports with different raw materials for the cement industry and added unloading from these mother vessels, however, could not be done due to the current situation.
The overall production capacity of the cement sector has crossed 62Mta against the demand for 34Mta  with 43 per cent overcapacity.

Published under Cement News

Tagged Under: Bangladesh COVID-19 coronavirus