Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation

Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) is the prime mover organisation in Bangladesh to promote small, cottage and rural industries in the private sector. BSCIC became the successor organisation of the then East Pakistan Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (EPCIC). The East Pakistan Small and Cottage Industries Corporation Act. 1957 (EP Act XVII of 1957) was passed on 14 March 1957 following the move of the then honourable minister for Labour, Commerce and Industry of the united front Government sheikh mujibur rahman. After independence, EPSIC was renamed as BSCIC by President Order No. 156 (2nd Amendment) in 1972. In October 1973, the government by a gazette notification No. 28 bifurcated BSCIC into two separate corporations namely: Bangladesh Cottage Industries Corporation (BSIC) and Bangladesh Small Industries Corporation (BCIC). Later these two corporations were unified in 1975. Later, two bodies were separated from BSCIC. Bangladesh Handloom Board and Bangladesh Sericulture Board were established.

BSCIC vests in a seven member Board of Directors constituted by the Govt. The Board administers and manages overall activities of the corporation following the BSCIC Act, govt. rules and policy guidelines. Chairman of the Board is the Chief Executive Officer. Each member heads one functional division. The divisions are: Promotion and Extension Division, Planning Development and Research Division, Project Implementation and Management Division, Finance Division, Design, Marketing and Holding Companies Division, and Technology Division.

The government deputes Chairman, Directors and Secretary to BSCIC. Other employees (officers and staff) are corporation's own employees. Total approved posts of BSCIC are 2029. In addition, there are some posts under project set-up. BSCIC, with its head quarter at Dhaka, have 4 regional offices, 64 industries service centres, 74 industrial estates, 15 skill development centres and one training institute.

After its birth in 1957, the then EPSIC started functions with commercial activities like- import of plant and machineries, raw materials and distribution of the same to the private sector entrepreneurs. During that period, the corporation also provided small loans in local currency to small enterprises. Subsequently, the corporation felt that the private entrepreneurs were needed continuous guidance and advice in selection of viable projects, preparation of machinery specifications, drawing of layout plans, supervising the construction of factory building, machinery installation, implant counseling and extension services for operation of the profitable ventures. Thereafter the focus was shifted from commercial to promotional and development activities. Accordingly, development projects like industrial estates, service and common facility centres, small Industry Advisory services, Rural Industrial services, Design Centre, Light Engineering Services and model production units were undertaken. Apart from that BSCIC also in co-operation with the financial institutions and commercial banks formed consortium for financing of SCIs in local as well as foreign currency credit. Gradually, changes in BSCIC's organisation structure occurred. BSCIC distributed design prototype among entrepreneurs and has also allotted industrial plots to entrepreneurs and has extended technical cooperation to salt producers of the country. Such assistance is still being continued in different way and perspective. Later more assistance in new dimension, like providing recommendation to the government for industrial import license, trade based skill development training and large scale entrepreneurship training programmes, organising fairs, exhibition countrywide to promote the industrial products are being successfully carried out by BSCIC.

BSCIC's industrial estate programme has been contributing to the process of industrialisation since 1960. Upto April 2009, a total number of 3,352 industries have been established in 74 industrial estates in different districts. Every year these industries produce goods and services worth about Tk. 2,46,830 million and pay about Tk. 1,780 million as VAT, tax and other charges. Value of exportable product is about Tk. 1,33,240 million. About 3.42 million people are directly engaged in these industries.

One of the initiatives of BSCIC, the country has achieved self-sufficiency in salt production. Total demand for salt is 13.33 lac MT per year. Production during the financial year 2009-2010 is 17.07 lac MT. Moreover BSCIC, in co-operation of UNICEF has been implementing the project 'Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorder through Universal Iodations of Salt in Bangladesh'. Credential of this program flashes that the prevalence of iodine deficiency disorder fell to 33.80 percent in 2005, which was 69 percent in 1993.

After liberation, new dimensions were added to BSCIC activities as it has taken up a mission to accelerate development of the SCI sector through dynamic policy interventions. It has introduced entrepreneurship development and skill development training; sub-contracting linkage between small and large-scale industries; establishing backward and forward linkage between small and large industries. Besides BSCIC was also involved in semi-intensive Shrimp Cultivation, Bee-Keeping and microcredit Programme for poverty alleviation.

BSCIC has several Human Resource Development Institutes. These institutes work for capacity building- enabling potential entrepreneurs and enterprises, specially engaged in small and cottage industries. In 1985, BSCIC established Small and Cottage Industries Training Institute (SCITI). The institute, a change driven, proactive and pragmatic one, has been providing entrepreneurship development training and consultancy services. It has pioneered innovative solutions to entrepreneurship and enterprise development.

SCITI has its own building with all facilities for holding workshops, conferences and other functions. It houses a library with a collection of development related books and periodicals. The Institute maintains a lean staff with interdisciplinary expertise, particularly in project management, entrepreneurship and enterprise development. BSCIC has 15 Skill Development Centers, which provide skill development training to the unemployed youth, school and college dropouts on different trades.

BSCIC's Design Centre is a centre of excellence working for development of crafts and craftsmanship in the country. It imparts training to the artisans and craftsmen on different trades. It develops designs and prototypes for handicrafts and distributes these among the craftsmen and artisans. The Human Resource Development Institutes, since their inception, have trained more than 4,62 thousand people. BSCIC started facilitating small industries to establish linkages with large and medium industries since 1991. Under this arrangement, small industries have been able to market products valued about Tk.50 thousand crore.

BSCIC started implementing special programmes in the Chittagong Hill Tracts Region since 1974 through two projects: Socio-economic Development of Chittagong Hill Tracts Region' (Original); and Special project Socio-economic development through promotion and extension of small and cottage industries for the under privilege inhabitant of Chittagong Hill Tracts region. A total number of 22,000 youths have so far been imparted training on different trade under these projects. These have has created employment opportunities for 20,500 persons. With the support of BSCIC 76,000 small industries and 6,25,000 cottage industries have been established in the country. These industries have created employment for 32.28 lac persons. [Masood Reza]