KAZI ABUL MONSUR/SHERAZUR RAHMAN #
The honorable Norwegian ambassador, Aspen Richter-Vendsen, has recently said that Bangladesh is now the leading shipbreaking industry in the world. Bangladesh has already established a global top-class shipbreaking industry sector without any confusion. After visiting various shipbreaking industries at Sitakunda, Chattogram, he said that the overall environment of various shipbreaking yards is much improved and satisfying.
In recent years, Bangladesh has emerged as number one in the sheep-breaking industrial sector in the global arena. This time, the journey has started to transform this potential sector into an environment-friendly or green shipyard to take it to the level of international standards. The honorable investors and owners related to the shipbreaking industry have invested a lot of money to build an environmentally friendly or green shipyard to fulfill international shipbreaking laws and rules. Besides, we have already started to benefit from this sector.
In fact, modern technology and equipment are being procured from abroad to ensure maximum safety and minimize the health risks of workers in the sheep-breaking industrial sector. Despite the very expensive and ongoing process, the owners of the sheep-breaking yard are making adequate arrangements for advanced first aid, including planting sufficient trees around multiple yards, protecting workers’ health, preventing environmental pollution, and ensuring quality housing and feeding arrangements.
By following the government and international guidelines to prevent environmental pollution, several shipyards have already achieved recognition as green shipyards. Moreover, all other shipyards have continued the process of converting themselves into green shipyards. Which can definitely be considered a positive achievement for this sector. But we have to remember that this is an expensive and long-term process. It will take some time to implement 100% of it in Bangladesh.
At present, the shipbreaking industry of our country has directly and indirectly contributed about 2 to 3 billion dollars to the national economy and the industrial revolution. In addition to that, more than 50,000 to 70,000 jobs have been created. It plays a significant role in our national economic and industrial development. Overall, the shipbreaking industry has become a hub for the supply of raw materials for the heavy steel and engineering industries in our country.
The government of Bangladesh earned direct revenue of Tk 384 crore in the fiscal year 2020–21. Besides, in the last fiscal year 2021–22, it collected a revenue of Tk 275 crore, and in the fiscal year 2022–23, it collected Tk 145 crore due to the global war and economic crisis. Actually, due to the dollar crisis, the import of scraped ships decreased in the last fiscal year. So, the revenue collection from this sector is facing some problems. However, this problem is temporary, and it is expected that it will be possible to directly collect about 700 crores of revenue from this sector in the near future.
The history of the ship-breaking industry in Bangladesh started around 1961, but it has had to go through various adversities and problems at different times. However, with the sincere efforts of all concerned in the sector, there has been a great improvement in this sector. It is true that the ship-breaking industry is doing very well, but we should pay more attention to the safety of the honorable workers.##