Construction industries face slide : Prices of raw materials up

May 21, 2009

Country’s construction industries face slide, as the prices of raw materials of this industry are increasing day-by-day following the global economic recession.
Due to the economic meltdown across the world, thousands of Bangladeshi workers employed in the construction industries in Middle East, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia have been discharged from their jobs.
The jobless people are forced to return home. The increasing numbers of homecoming labourers along with continuous price hike of electricity, oil, gas and raw materials may badly affect the country’s construction industries.
Talking to The New Nation Abdur Razzak, general secretary of Construction Labour Union of Bangladesh said, “A number of government projects have been shut down and more projects are likely to be closed following the global economic recession. The possibility of getting new construction projects have been shuttered up.”
He also feared that country’s remittance will definitely decline, as thousands of Bangladeshi labours had returned home following global economic recession.
“Continuous soaring of price of raw materials along with the price hike of oil-gas and electricity are badly affecting the industries. The production cost of this industries has doubled due to rising price of electricity,” he added.
In a bilateral meeting the last caretaker government assured the stakeholders related to this sector to keep the price of raw materials of construction industries under control. But the assurance is yet to be implemented. Moreover the builders, labourers and raw materials providers are facing difficulties due to excessive transport fare.
During the visit of market it has been noticed that the price of 60 grade SM rod has been raised from 50 thousand to 58 thousand per ton and 40 grade SM rod from Tk 45 thousand to 50 thousand per ton.
Traders said currently one truck sand is being sold on Tk. 1,800 to 2,000 and the current market price of 1000 bricks is Tk 5,500 to 5,800. The price of electronic equipment related to the construction industries has been raised by 30 percent compared to last one year.
Due to ongoing price hike of these raw materials and electronic equipment the labourers, constructors and stakeholders are fearing for being jobless, as new construction projects are not being available.
Talking to The New Nation, Tanvirul Haque Probal, president of Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB), said, “We are trying our best to face the challenges prevailing in the housing sector and construction industries. We took an initiative for importing rod on less price. But we had to step backward, as the government imposed huge tax on this.”
He alleged that the local traders were selling rods on high price compared to international market, which forced to increase the price of flats in the country and feared that the unemployment opportunity in the country would shrink tremendously because of return of thousands of labourers form abroad.
He urged the government to create scope in the upcoming budget for investing invisible money in housing sector and construction industries and demanded interest free loan for the betterment of this sector.

Courtesy of The New Nation

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