Polluting textile factories in Bangladesh could be hit with a new green tax.The new levy will be imposed on a company that wantonly pollutes the country’s rivers with untreated effluents. The fine would be in the form of a one per cent environment protection surcharge or green tax on an ad-valorem basis.
At present, factories breaching pollution standards may face a one-off fine but bribery of inspection officials is not uncommon. The industry is being encouraged to set up effluent treatment plants. Industrial effluents and waste from urban sewage are seen as severely contaminating rivers and taking a heavy toll on the aquatic environment and its surroundings.
However, it’s not only about fines. Newly competing low cost textile sourcing destinations such as Ethiopia and Myanmar together with a shift towards re-shoring represent a significant threat to Bangladesh’s ready-made garment industries.
In view of this, and with the aim of making the industry competitive, the government is mulling tax inducements to key sectors such as garment manufacture which have been beset by problems in recent times, particularly in the wake of last year’s Rana Plaza factory disaster which killed more than 1,000 people.