310 crore loss of launch owners during lockdown.Launch owners have claimed that more than Tk 310 crore has been lost due to the closure of public transport to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The owners of about 700 launches across the country have suffered. The two launch owners’ organizations have also written to the government seeking incentives for the damage. In the letter, the launch owners also identified the loss of Tk. 113 crore as loss due to non-operation of the launch.
When asked, Mahbub Uddin Ahmed Bir Bikram, chairman of the Bangladesh Inland Navigation of the launch owners, said, “We have submitted a statistic of our potential loss to the government. I have asked the government for incentives. Because we are spending to keep our launches running, but not earning.”
Asked what kind of incentives the government wants even after announcing low-interest loans to traders, he said, “We want interest-free loans in this sector.”
Shahid Uddin Bhuiyan, senior vice-president of Bangladesh Launch Owners Association, another organization of launch owners, said, “Under our association, more than 100 launches used to operate across the country.” These launches have caused a loss of over taka 100 crore. I have written a letter to the government informing about this matter.
It is learned that there are 550 small and big launches in the country under Bangladesh Inland Navigation. Of these, 220 operate from Dhaka and 330 across the country.
The organization has claimed that the owners of the launches under the organization have lost Tk. 210.86 crore in the last three months. Of this, 113 crore and 85 lakh taka has been mentioned as loss of profit. In other words, the launch owners would have got a profit of Tk. 113.85 crore excluding expenses as the launch was not operational. The launch owners are seeking incentives from the government, citing the lack of profit as a loss.
The other sectors that have been mentioned as losses are interest on bank loans of Tk. 3 crore, workers’ salaries and allowances of Tk 52.97 crore and launch maintenance loss of about Tk. 40 crore. Launch owners have also shown losses in several sectors. Similarly, the launch owners’ association has also sought incentives from the government showing losses.
News Room, May 12,2020