The government is contemplating setting up of a state-of-the-art car assembling plant in the country aiming to tap the potential of the automobile sector, officials said.
As part of the move, the Ministry of Industries (MoI) has already started the process to build a 'customized mixed vehicle assembly plant' at Barabkundu under Sitakundu upazila in Chattogram.
Pragoti Industries Ltd, the sole state-run vehicle assembling entity which is under the MoI, started the process for setting up of the plant.
It is now assembling vehicles like Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Jeep QX, Mitsubishi ASX Jeep, Land Ford (jeep) and Tata bus.
"We have started the process. We hope that we will be able to select an international consultant within next six months which will provide us with necessary plans," managing director of Pragoti Industries Ltd Md Touhiduzzaman told the FE.
The selected international consultant will also provide Pragoti Industries with the possible number of manpower, layout of the plant and others, he added.
Initially, he said, they are planning to invest around Tk 15 billion in setting up the car assembling plant.
Mr Touhid said the proposed modern car assembling plant will assemble all kinds of vehicles including car, bus, minibus, truck and pickup van etc.
He expressed the hope that within next few years, the new car assembling plant will be able to supply different types of vehicles to customers at affordable prices.
The proposed plant will assemble around 50,000 types of vehicles annually.
There will be paint shop, body shop, and machine shop (for assembling cars and car parts) at the proposed car assembling plant.
The Pragoti's managing director further said they have plans to make the country self-reliant in manufacturing necessary parts like engine, and chassis of vehicles gradually.
Local engineers working with internationally-renowned car manufacturing plants in different countries are contributing substantially to designing and other vital works for manufacturing or assembling of different vehicles, he added.
Pragoti has so far assembled and marketed more than 50,000 vehicles such as cars, jeeps, buses, trucks, pickups, ambulances and tractors of multiple models by importing CKD (complete knocked down ) kits from overseas.
The company has been making profits for last few years. It earned a net profit of Tk 1.0 billion in the fiscal year (FY) 2018-19 which was Tk 960 million in the previous fiscal.
Talking to the FE, a high official of the industries ministry said they are working on the issue on an urgent basis, considering its importance.