Newly elected Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Abul Matlub Ahmed in an exclusive interview with daily sun said the FBBCI will work to facilitate establishment of industrial units in every district as well as to create new entrepreneurships.
It would also work to bring down interest rate into single digit. The FBCCI president said, “I found that the industrial units have been established only in Dhaka and Chittagong regions, but the rest of the areas of the country are filled with nothing but brick kilns and rice mills.”
Unemployment will not come down here without industrial revolution, Abul Matlub Ahmed, who is also chairman of Nitol-Niloy Group, said. FBCCI will work on establishment of industries in every district based on local raw materials, he said, adding, it will also concentrate on creation of entrepreneurship.
FBCCI will start survey to establish industries in every district across the country soon. “And within a month, we will get a report about basic industrial prospect in every district and aspirant entrepreneurships as well.”
About 70 percent people of Bangladesh are young. Their merit and dedication would be used through FBCCI survey. It will possible to take GDP growth to over eight percent immediately from the present 6.6 percent.”
He thinks that low interest rate for bank borrowing is a must to ensure industries in every district.
“So, FBCCI will work to bring down bank interest rate within nine percent…. it will initiate a dialogue in collaboration with bank owners and clients as well,” he said.
He loudly said, today, country’s 80 liquid money is coming from private banks. If FBCCI takes decision, the government will be able to endorse it even though interests on the government saving certificates do not come down to single digit. While asked about the FBBCI’s role in stabilising the essential commodity prices in the coming Ramadan, he said the government is responsible for checking the prices. But businessmen have moral responsibility to keep commodity prices in tolerable level. FBCCI will hold meetings with businessmen to keep their attention on prices of essential commodities. If there is adequate supply of commodities, prices would come down.
Asked about the coming budget, FBCCI president said, “I think the government will announce budget considering interest of local industries.” FBBCI has already sent a proposal with 100 recommendations, including reduction in tax and VAT for protection of small and medium entrepreneurs, he said.
“VAT and tax harassment should be reduced….Tax and VAT rates should be set at tolerable levels,” the FBCCI chief said.
“VAT should be 4-7 percent while the income tax 10-20 percent,” he recommended.
The FBCCI president, who is also major importer of Indian cars and trucks, said the tax on commercial cars should be at tolerable level. Besides, the tax rate for luxurious private car import should come down.
“I have already requested the NBR to allow lower tax and introduce special tax slab for cars below 700-800cc used by the middle class and schools.” The government should not allow import of reconditioned bus and trucks that were used for 10 years, he recommended.
About destructive political activities, the business leader said politician should not be taken any destructive programmes that hamper businesses as well as the economy.
“We request the political parties to come out of hartal culture…Hartal as a political tool has lost its importance right now.”
About the upcoming Indian premier Narendra Modi’s visit, he said political and economical relation between the two countries is in better shape now.
“India opens door to access Bangladeshi goods without duty. India also openly said non-tariff barrier would also be withdrawn. It’s a big decision that should be utilised.” “Unfortunately, Bangladesh has no exportable items expect readymade garments. Our new ideal is the Indian giant brands that would make investment here in Bangladesh. They will set up industries here and will also sell their items in Bangladesh as well as export across the globe. When he was asked that how he will make the FBBCI as a more effective organisation, he said FBCCI will work through reform and it will be a service-oriented organisation.
FBCCI will recruit qualified staff to ensure better services through revision of organogram. Car pool will also be introduced so that they can get car through subsidised rate, he said, adding, video call centre would also be introduced for members free of cost.
Talking about Matlub’s Nitol-Niloy Group business, he said the company sells 20,000-22,000 buses, trucks and mini bus every year.
His company has a plan to set up car assembling units at Chittagong or Rajshahi within the next one-and-a-half years by spending Tk 50 crore. Besides, another car assemble factory and manufacturing unit would be set up within five years with an estimated cost of Tk 500 crore, Matlub hoped. “I dream to manufacture cars in Bangladesh within five years,” he added.