The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters' Association (BGMEA) has demanded introduction of a computerised mapping system to locate containers and also to seal the covered vans in the port shed of the Chittagong port.
BGMEA President Fazlul Hoque told the BDNEWS Saturday that introduction of computerised mapping system for locating containers would reduce not only time but also the overall cost of garment exports. But this is not happening due to corruption by a section of people in the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA), he added.
He said it becomes very difficult to find out the location of a container under the manual system and the CPA collects Tk 2000 for each container for the purpose although there is a computerised system in customs procedure at the Chittagong port.
Earlier, the BGMEA leaders presented to the State Minister for Shipping, Kamrul Islam, some documentary evidences of corruption and mismanagement by CPA officials.
BGMEA Director Mahbub Chowdhury said if the CPA officials seal the covered vans in the port shed in presence of security officials, twenty steps would be reduced in releasing a covered van.
He said readymade garment (RMG) exporters now give Tk 500-1000 to security officials for every covered van at the gate of CPA to free themselves from hassle although the distance is only 200 feet from the port shed to the gate of CPA.
The RMG exporters alleged that they were losing their competitiveness due to increase in lead-time and the overall cost of garment exports. This happens due to the mismanagement and corruption in CPA.
One of the RMG exporters said buyers are now leaving the country due to the lead-time factor, not for the product cost.
He said the government has not yet played the due role in reducing the lead-time in case of Chittagong port, even during the present post-MFA period.
Many RMG exporters are now concerned about the congestion at Chittagong port for the last one month.