Shoemakers on the verge of closure
15 March 2015, Nirapad News: Shomakers of Kishoreganj are in despair. They might have to shut down the factories due to rising losses and debts said the shoe factory owners at a program protesting the continuous blockade and general strikes.
They said the footwear industry in Kishoreganj boasting 7,000 factories was on the verge of collapse leaving the livelihoods of about 200,000 people involved in the business in jeopardy.
The owners said shoes were piling up as they could not be shipped out owing to the violent anti-government campaign, which falls on its 69th day today, calling for the ruling Awami League to step down and announce new elections.
The laborers are going through severe financial hardship while the factory owners are overburdened with debts from NGOs and banks, they said at a human chain held recently.
The traders said around 90% of the factories in the region were run on loans. Unable to pay their installments for over two months, owners of those factories have become desperate. Many have already shut down their businesses.
Bhairab Paduka, a well-known brand, like many others is also teetering on the verge. This hardship of the shoemakers has trickled down to related businesses packaging material, shoe boxes, laces and so forth as the political impasse continues.
The local business owners and labourers’ union said they were passing days amid much anxiety besides financial losses. Hafiz Uddin and Abdul Malek, owners of two shoe factories, said they had incurred massive losses in the last two months.
President of the union, Abdul Latif, said: “The local footwear business was gradually moving towards a complete collapse. This is compounding the unemployment problem even further.”
Latif urged both the ruling Awami League and BNP to resolve the crisis and revive businesses, or they would undertake tougher movements, he threatened.