Barisal BSCIC (Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation) survives merely in name with only 35 running industrial units though it was to be the biggest industrial city. In 1961 Barisal BSCIC was projected at Kawnia on a large area of 130.61 acres of land consisting of 463 plots to be allotted, whereas, in last 50 years only 252 plots have been leased and the rest 211 plots have been lying empty as the pasture land used by the local inhabitants.
The project fell through for lack of proper care, nourishment and Government patronization.
The then grand project was designed with 99.95 acres of land for 463 plots of A, B, C and D categories to be allotted among the entrepreneurs, 21.64 acres for roads and 9.1 acres for administrative buildings and ponds.
Only 80 industrial units have been composed of 252 different category plots among which 35 units are running with production, 3 are about to go for production, 13 are waiting for construction, 12 entrepreneurs have not built any industry yet and surprisingly 29 have already been marked sick of which 22 have been laid off immediately after going into production and the rest 211 plots are serving as grazing ground.
The entrepreneurs iterated that frequently sudden load shedding, high carrying cost, augmentation of service charge and lack of proper security dispirited them to invest there resulting in the present miserable condition of Barisal BSCIC.
Among the running industries The Bengal Biscuit Ltd., Mohammadi Electric Product and some other flour mills are notable.
Yusuf Ali, Manager of Sugandha Flour Mills, said that ill drainage system, undeveloped roads and deteriorating law and order day by day are going against establishing industries.
Dipu Hafizur Rahaman, Divisional Program Officer, The Asia Foundation, said absence of smooth communication facilities and lack of security discourage the entrepreneurs to invest there.
Naimur Rahaman Chowdhury, a member of BSCIC Infrastructure Development Task Force, mentioned that at the beginning they had to pay 26 paisa per square foot as service charge but now they have to pay 80 paisa while the services and other facilities have been declining day by day which goes contrary to the reality and he warned that if the authority fails to take proper measures against this situation, the owners association might have to go for movement.
Mentioning the miserable power supply Mr. Shahidul Islam, Factory manager, The Bengal Biscuit Ltd., said that everyday plenty of raw materials are damaged being clogged in machine for sudden power supply interruption whereas , he suggested, these happenings can be averted if the power supply authority would notice them about the time of load shedding earlier.
Mr. Gobinda Chandra Sarker. an officer, of BSCIC, said that through the Deputy Commissioner 'A' grade plots of 37.88 acres and 'B' grade of 20.66 acres are to be leased for 99 years but in last 50 years no propitious scope had been developed here to encourage the entrepreneurs for establishing industries here and even there is no supply of gas and sufficient electricity to ensure factories to run smoothly.
It may be mentioned that Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), a prime government organization entrusted with rapid industrialization of small and cottage industries in the country, was projected with the objectives:
- Increase of industrial production and productivity in the SCI sector;
- Creation of employment opportunities;
- Poverty alleviation;
- Balanced regional growth;
- Ensure optimum utilization of economic and human resources;
- Accelerate overall economic growth of the country through SCI.
And surely, BSCIC was not designed for making a grazing ground.