Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) have urged government to urgently release funds that were allocated to rescue the debt ridden textile industry.
Modiri Mbaakanyi, BOCCIM Chairman said this week at High Level Consultative Council meeting that the industry is worried that they might not be able to recover from the recession if the funds are released late.
“We applaud government’s efforts to keep the textile sector afloat through the P30 million bailout. But we are quite disappointed that as usual it is taking too long to release the funds to the distressed textile enterprise. We fear that by the time this money is received, it may be too little too late,” said Mbaakanyi.
Government recently unveiled a rescue plan for the ailing textile industry, with the objective of guarding against possible job losses.
Through the stimulus package, government would pay half of each employee’s salary and also be a guarantor for the companies’ loans.
The bailout, planned for implementation early 2010, would rescue Botswana’s ailing textile industry, which was crippled by the recession.
One of Botswana’s leading textile companies, Caratex Botswana, had to lay off 5000 employees after closing shop late last year.
The textile industry also faces stiff competition from Indian and Chinese competitors, which are offered better rebates and also have the advantage of cheap labour and efficient operations.
BOCCIM also commended government for her economic diversification and import substitution drive.
“It is time we acknowledge the strength of our government’s spending and leverage it towards creating employment for our people instead creating employment in other economies by purchasing from suitcase businessmen,” said Mbaakanyi. He also urged the private sector to actively participate in the initiative.