Dhaka, Jun 29(UNB) - The country’s leading consumer electronics brand, Walton, announced fresh offers Saturday for those looking to buy from its wide range of refrigerators and freezers centering the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha, one of the two largest festivals of the Muslim community.
Under this offer, everyday customers of any model of Walton refrigerators and freezers may get Tk 1 million (10 lakh) by registering their newly purchased fridges from Walton plaza or distributor outlet across the country under the ongoing Digital Campaign Season 4.
Moreover, customers may get crores of cash vouchers or thousands of electronics and electrical appliances. The offer will be effective from July 1 and continue till Eid-ul-Azha, which is expected around mid-August.
The offer was declared at a programme at the conference room of the Walton Corporate Office in the capital today. The programme was also attended by Walton Group’s Executive Directors Eva Rezwana, Amdadul Haque Sarker, Md Nazrul Islam Sarker, Humayun Kabir, SM Zahid Hasan, Abul Bashar Hawlader, Mohammad Rayhan and Ariful Ambia, Deputy Executive Directors Firoj Alam and Shahjada Salim, Media Adviser Enayet Ferdous.
Walton is conducting ‘Digital Campaign’ across the country to accelerate the initiative of building customer database for delivering internet-based fast as well as quality after sales service.
The details of the customers and their purchased products including the name of customer, contact number and the model number of the product purchased are being stored on a server through the digital registration. As a result, customers can avail the service from any Walton service center any time, even if the warranty card is lost.
Golam Murshed, chief executive officer of Walton Fridge, said Walton targeted selling two million units of fridges in the domestic market in 2019. The first half of that, 1 million units, took just 5 months, leaving the company well on course to meet its own ambitious target.
With Eid ul Azha still to come – when demand for fridges spikes every year thanks to the onus on storing meat and food - Walton may even expect to overshoot their own target by thousands of units.
Among these fridges, BSTI’s highest energy rating ‘Five Star’ certified inverter, side-by-side, glass door along with 563 liter refrigerators have been very well-received by consumers.
Dhaka, June 27 (UNB) - Bangladeshi apparel businesses called upon international buyers for maintaining responsible buying practices to obey their given conditions properly.
The business insiders also said that their businesses are under pressure not getting proper prices of their products. They have reformed their factories costing huge money following Accord and Alliance but the buyers do not pay good prices.
“Our production cost increased vastly compared to several years in various reasons. Besides, we have been able to develop our products’ quality. But buyers do not maintain responsible buying practices. They want to buy at same cheap rate that was set long ago,” Mohiuddin Rubel, representative of Bangladesh at the United States Green Building Council (USGBC)’ s chief executive officer’s advisory council told UNB.
The director of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) also said that the number of Bangladeshi garment factories that received the top billing from USGBC is the highest in the world.
“Bangladesh has highest number of green factories in the world. So we urge buyers to adhere to responsible buying practices when they source apparels from Bangladesh. We also request Accord and Alliance to consider the issue of increasing prices,” he also said.
He added that there are 87 green factories out of around 3000 factories in the country.
However, the Alliance, a consortium of North American brands and buyers, on Bangladesh Worker Safety and the Accord, a platform of European brands and buyers on Fire and Building Safety started working in Bangladesh after the Rana Plaza accident on April 24, 2013 that killed 1,138 workers. They ended their five year tenure here on May 31, 2018.
Recently after hearing, the Appellate Division of Supreme Court has given an extension of 281 days to Accord from May 8 this year.
Mohiuddin, Managing Director (MD) of Bangladesh Apparel Exchange and also Director of Denim Expert Limited added, “Accord and Alliance forced to reform our factories but on the other hand, the buyers reduced prices of our products than expected.”
“Our ability has increased here. Once we made low range products and now we can make middle range products. Besides, we are going to value addition, robotics of fourth industrial revolution and making green factories but sadly buyers not increasing prices rather decreasing. They want to pay years old prices but now all our things including products quality developed.”
“Even though, we’ve some image crisis in international markets after Rana Plaza incident. However, we have taken initiatives to overcome the image crisis. We hope a positive message will be got there in future. So we need our government’s support,” he added.
Another businessman Hasin Arman Ayon, director of MB Knit Fashion Limited said that unhealthy competition and lack of negotiation skill are the main reasons behind low prices.
“We have reformed our factories costing huge money due to Accord and Alliance in our country. But they do not take any initiative to increase price rates of Bangladeshi products,” he also claimed.
He said, “We bought a jockey pump at Tk64 lakh, after some days Accord said to dump the new pump not matching with their conditions. However, we have made our factory eco-friendly costing huge money but we do not get proper price of our products.”
“We urge the accord and alliances to take initiative for raising prices of Bangladeshi products otherwise we have to face a big crisis,” he added.
Asif Ibrahim, Director of BGMEA and Managing Director of Keilock Newage Bangladesh Ltd told UNB that their industry is passing many challenges following competitiveness.
“We do not get good prices as per our expectation in the international markets. If we don’t get proper prices why we will build green factories costing huge money?,” he questioned.
Asif added that they hope good days of Ready-made Garments (RMG) industry of the country will come after overcoming the image crisis. “We are working to increase our institutional capacity and sustainability.”
According to Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) president Osama Taseer, RMG industry faces pressure from increasing labor cost. It takes up 15 percent of the total production cost.
“Around 381.35 percent minimum wage hike witnessed from 2006 to 2019 and 50 percent wage hike for entry level workers in 2019 compared to 2013,” he added.
According to BGMEA study on Apparel industry in Bangladesh 2018, Accord and Alliance covered factories completed more than 90 percent of their remediation activities. 422 factories have remediated more than 50 percent, 79 factories have relocated new places and 130 factories joined Accord and Alliance.
“1200 garment factories have been closed down over the last 4 years due to failing in compliance standard. The remediation cost for 80 percent of the factories was estimated at between $100,000 and $250,000 each,” it also read.
Former BGMEA president Siddiqur Rahman said that production cost increased around 8 percent every year although the price of apparel in world market did not increase. Around 30 percent production cost increased from 2014 to 2018.
According to BGMEA President Dr. Rubana Huq, “We’re facing many challenges in product diversification, improving image crisis, technological development, innovation and value addition. Our orders have been reduced as consumer demand has been changed in global markets.”
She also said the owners of 30 garment factories have been forced to shut down their units in May. “Even many owners paid salaries of their workers after selling their machinery.”
The BGMEA chief also said the living cost of garment workers has increased sharply which should be taken into consideration.
“However, we are in crisis of positive image and we should build image in the international market with the support of all specially through the media. The Era of Collaboration has begun only to make this industry sustainable. BGMEA will work hard to establish our positive image and branding in the international market,” she added.
Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Research Director Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem told UNB that in the last six years since Rana Plaza collapse, Bangladesh has been able to develop its image in local and abroad taking various initiatives including reforming factories, increasing labors wages and developing products quality. But some labour demonstrations tarnished their image to buyers somewhat.
Golam Moazzem added that now many small factories owner are struggling to sustain in the apparel business to meet their cost. So the government should give separate fund for them and brand buyers should come forward to increase price rate of apparel products of Bangladesh.
“The authorities concerned should go forward in a planned way to develop the country’s important industry. Production has to increase reducing production cost. There are many green factories being built, that is positive for the industry. But other issues should be considered as well,” the researcher said.
Dhaka, June 27 (UNB)- The 9th Social Business Day, hosted by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, will begin on Friday at the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre, Central World in Bangkok, Thailand.
This year 1,450 delegates from 58 countries have registered to attend the 2-day event to be inaugurated by Professor Muhammad Yunus, said a press release.
Yunus Centre, Dhaka, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and Kasetsart University, Thailand are jointly going to organise the event with a theme “Making Money is Happiness, Making Other People Happy is Super Happiness".
Keynote speeches will be delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific and Mechai Viravaidya, Chairman, Mechaiviravaidya Foundation and Father Enzo Fortunato, Spokesperson and Communication Director of The Holy Convent of Papal Basilica of Assisi.
A range of topics related to the social business ecosystem ranging from food and agriculture, deforestation, green energy to education, health, technology, sports, culture and arts will be discussed in the event.
Social Business Day is an annual event of experience sharing and goal setting for social business activists, supporters, partners, and investors and getting ready for the coming years.
The event attracts international and local social business activists, corporates and social leaders, leading NGOs, students, innovators and early adopters of the social business philosophy that looks to tackle socio economic problems at its core to update themselves on the social business frontier.
There will be nine country forums ranging from Bangladesh, China, Australasia, Japan, Europe etc where delegates from individual country will have separate conferences.
Bangkok will be the venue for Social Business Day for the first time. Eighth social business day took place in Bangalore while the previous social business days were held in Dhaka.
A pre-conference of the Social Business Academia Network will be held on June 29in order to prepare for Social Business Academia Conference 2019 which will take place in November in Germany.
Many of the representatives from Yunus Social Business Centres in 74 Universities in 34 countries will attend the conference.
Dhaka, June 27 (UNB) - The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) on Thursday urged the government to take steps to end harassment of businessmen by tax officials.
At a discussion titled ‘FBCCI ERP (Engage, Reflect and Plan of Action): Proposed National Budget and Finance Bill 2019-20’ at a city hotel, it also called for revising VAT, income tax and import duty proposed in the national budget for 2019-20 fiscal year.
“Field-level tax officials harass businessmen in various ways. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced a zero tolerance policy against corruption. You (tax officials) should issue notices to us (FBCCI and chambers concerned) before taking the final step against businesses,” said FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim.
He proposed withdrawal of advance tax (AT) from raw materials of industries and machinery.
Besides, tax officials’ power to seize, arrest and freeze bank accounts should be scrapped, Fahim said.
The FBCCI president further proposed reduction of 2.5 percent corporate tax and cancellation of whole 15 percent tax on stock dividend.
BGMEA President Rubana Huq said their members are being harassed in various ways. “We’d urged the National Board to Revenue (NBR) not to harass businesses without making any list of those engaged in wrongdoings but they don’t listen to us. They start wholesale harassment without giving any list,” she said.
Former FBCCI President Shafiul Islam (Mohiduddin) said the businessmen want a harassment-free environment in the country. “The business should be simplified for ease of doing business. Efficiency should be developed in the management.”
Speaking at the programme as the chief guest, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said the national budget has been proposed with a goal to flourish the country. “The government is a business-friendly one and the country is an investment-friendly one. The government also wants to increase the investment here.”
Claiming that there are so many good things in the proposed budget, he said if any issues is missing, it can be resolved through discussion after the passage of the budget in Parliament.
The minister called upon the businessmen not to be frustrated as the government is very positive about them. “One percent cash incentive has been given for the RMG industry.”
About the scope provided in the budget to legalise black money, Tipu Munshi said he likes to call it undisclosed money instead of black money. “We want to increase investment in the country and create more employments here. We don’t want that the money is siphoned off the country.”
Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs) of the Prime Minister’s Office Md Abul Kalam Azad urged the businessmen to think about how to reduce the production cost and increase efficiency. “If you don’t become competitive and enhance product quality, you can’t survive in the world.”
Former BGMEA President Siddiqur Rahman said they want to pay VAT and tax without any harassment.
FBCCI Senior Vice President Md Muntakim Ashraf and Vice Presidents Md Siddiqur Rahman, Rezaul Karim Rejnu and Mir Nizamuddin and representatives from different business organizations were present there.
Dhaka, Jun 25 (UNB)- Popular e-commerce site Othoba.com recently has signed an agreement with El Amor, an accessories house of importing products.
As per deal, customers will be able to purchase of imported products of El Amor through Othoba.com.
Firstly, Othoba.com will provide world’s popular lighter brand `Zippo’ and Nepal’s popular environment friendly brand `Todays Telegram’ products to the customers.
Therefore the popular e-commerce site will provide merchandising products of popular music band like Shironamhin, Black.
Azim Hossain, Head of Business of Othoba.com and Rakibul Azam, Founder & Chairman of El Amor signed the deal on behalf of their respective organizations held at head office of Othoba.com in Dhaka on Saturday.
Safah Binta Mojib, Business Development Manager of El Amor and Soukat Elahe, Assistant Business Development Manager at Othoba.com, among others, were also present at the program.