Priorities demanded for local industries in govt procurement
NBS Report –
Bangladesh is self-sufficient in manufacturing of electronics and technology products. After meeting local demand, the ‘Made in Bangladesh’ labelled products are being exported to different countries including Europe. But the home made products are being neglected in government procurement. So, it is the demand of the time to give priorities for local made products in government procurement process. The Public Procurement Rules (PPR) should be amended in favorer of domestic industries. Economic development of the country will be accelerated through the fourth industrial revolution only if the domestic industrial favorable policy is formulated.
Speakers at a webinar titled ‘Bangladesh in Industrialization’ came up with the remarks on Tuesday (April 27, 2021). Bangladesh Electrical, Electronics and Home Appliance Manufacturing and Exporters Association (BEEMEA) organized the webinar.
Planning Minister MA Mannan was present as chief guest of the webinar while Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Planning, also the Director General of CPTU, Shoheler Rahman Chowdhury was present as the special guest. BEEMEA Secretary General Mohammad Sirajul Islam presented the keynote paper.
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Satya Prasad Majumder, Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Prof. Dr. Mustafizur Rahman, President of Bangladesh Engineering Industry Owners Association (BEIOA) Abdur Razzak, Chairman of Minister Hi-Tech Industrial Park, also the Vice-President of Bangladesh TV Manufacturing Association, Abdur Razzak Khan and Additional Managing Director of Walton Hi-Tech Industries Limited Abul Bashar Howlader were panel speakers at the webinar moderated by journalist Mridul Islam.
In the key-note paper, Mohammad Sirajul Islam mentioned that Bangladeshi industrialists manufacture their products maintaining the suitability of local weather and electrical infrastructure with huge investment on research and development. The BSTI standard certificate is mandatory for domestic products. However, this certificate is not mandatory for similar kind of foreign products imported to the country. As a result, low quality foreign products enter into the country while domestic products are being neglected. BSTI certificate should make mandatory for imported foreign goods. The domestic made products should also be given priorities in government procurement as well.
Planning Minister MA Mannan said, ‘It is very encouraging that there are about 5,000 institutions involved in the electronics sector in the country, where about 12 lakh people are working here. The government is providing all kinds of assistance to the domestic industries and will continue supporting them.
Dr. Mustafizur Rahman said industrial companies in the electronics and light engineering sectors are the brand ambassadors of new innovative economy and the future of the country’s economy and employment. This sector is contributing to local market value addition, import substitution and export earnings. So, this sector should be given priority in terms of industrialization and trade policy. It is very sad if they face discrimination. This sector will assist heavily to achieve the goal of developed Bangladesh by 2041.
Prof. Satya Prasad Majumder opined that all kinds of policy support are must for domestic electronics and technology products which are related to the fourth industrial revolution. In addition to tax benefits and tax holidays for the domestic industry, a new section needs to be added to the PPR rules. Industry-university collaboration is essential for the local high-tech industry and the involvement of local experts is also essential.
Shoheler Rahman Chowdhury said the purpose of the PPR rules is to create equal opportunities for all local and foreign organizations so that they can take part in the competition. We are planning to issue a circular with instructions so that there is no deviation from this policy as many bidders break the PPR law. He also assured to give priority to the domestic industries in the PPR policy amendment.