First fleet of electrical and mechanical products nearing completion

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91pc Tk 309.59cr project work complete

Some Tk 309.59 crore is being spent to construct the country’s first industrial park for manufacturers of electrical and light engineering products in the Betka area of ​​the Tongibari upazila of Munshiganj. There remains about 10% of the work. The photo was taken on Saturday. Photo: Sajjad Hossain

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Some Tk 309.59 crore is being spent to construct the country’s first industrial park for manufacturers of electrical and light engineering products in the Betka area of ​​the Tongibari upazila of Munshiganj. There remains about 10% of the work. The photo was taken on Saturday. Photo: Sajjad Hossain

Construction of the country’s first industrial park for manufacturers of electrical and light engineering products in Munshiganj is expected to be completed in June.

The industrial enclave is being constructed by the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) under the Ministry of Industry under a Tk 309.59 crore project.

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It aims to bring together manufacturers of electrical and light engineering products that have sprung up unexpectedly across the country under a single platform.

Project manager Abdul Jalil said 91% of the project is complete and hopes the project will be ready on time.

The next step will be to distribute the plots among the entrepreneurs. About 70 companies have already applied for plots.

“We will start allocating plots from June,” Jalil said.

Construction started in March 2017 after the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council approved it in June 2016. Initially, the cost was estimated at Tk 213.26 crore, which was later revised to Tk 309.59 crore, according to project documents.

The original deadline was June 2019, but it was extended to June this year due to, among other things, the complexity of land acquisition.

Sitting on over 50 acres of land, the park has 362 plots. Half of them will go to manufacturers of electrical products and the rest to manufacturers of light engineering products. The project should create 10,750 jobs.

In order to secure plots, contractors will need to approach the Bangladesh Electrical Manufacturers Association and the Bangladesh Light Engineering Industry Owners Association (BLEIOA).

Cash-strapped entrepreneurs say it would not be possible to set up factories without getting the land at a reasonable price. The BLEIOA has already written to the Primature to ask it to lower the price of the plots.

The government has priced each katha in the land at Tk 13.50 lakh from the previous Tk 19.95 lakh.

“The price of each katha of land should be Tk 4 lakh,” said Abdur Razzak, chairman of BLEIOA.

“Then we can take the plots. There is no reason for it to be too expensive. If the price is very high, it will not be possible for us to set up a factory,” he said.

BLEIOA has 350 members and all are interested in obtaining land, according to Razzak.

Md Aminul Islam, site engineer for the project, says work is currently underway to construct the perimeter walls, drains and dump areas, and to paving the road.

Factories must begin trial production within one year of plot allocation.

In Bangladesh, the journey of the light engineering sector started after independence. Initially, factories were concentrated in Dholaikhal, Tipu Sultan Road, Narinda, Taher Bagh, Banagram, Jinjira, Keraniganj and other parts of Old Dhaka.

Later factories were also established in Bogura, Syedpur, Jashore, Chattogram, Kishoreganj, Brahmanbaria, Pabna, Natore, Rajshahi, Naogaon, Cumilla and Noakhali.

Currently, there are about 50,000 factories nationwide. The light engineering sector manufactures products worth Tk 10,000 crore a year, supplying a third of the local demand of Tk 30,000 crore, according to BLEIOA.

The industry directly employs six lakh skilled workers and about 10 lakh semi-skilled workers.

Manufacturers of electrical products claim that the local market for electrical appliances is Tk 20,000 crore to Tk 25,000 crore, and they supply part of the gigantic market. Manufacturers of electrical products employ 5,000,000 people.


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