Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) provides a package of services to private sector entrepreneurs in Bangladesh in the small and cottage industries sector. It was created through an Act of Parliament in 1957 which was later amended in 1992. BSCIC has developed a total of 74 industrial estates throughout the country to foster the growth of SCIs in a balanced manner and also construction works for good number of estates including special type like Tannery, API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) and Garments Park are under execution. Cottage Industry refers to family based/owned small sized production units with small amount of capital whose production process is based mostly on local raw materials, inherited artistic skills and simple indigenous technology. These units operate in both rural and urban areas. Many of them use hired staff on full or part-time basis. Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), the state-owned organization for promotion and supervision of small and cottage industries in the country, defines cottage industry as small scale industrial unit run by the members of the same family either on full or part-time basis. The maximum number of workers in a cottage industry unit is 20, if it uses indigenous technology and is not run by power, and not more than 10, if it uses power-run machinery. However, for the purpose of taxation the NATIONAL BOARD OF REVENUE has defined cottage industry as an industrial unit run by a maximum of 50 workers using local skills without adopting power-run mechanical equipment. Traditionally, cottage industries have been rural-based, but in course of time and with technological advancements, they spread to urban areas to avail of transport and marketing facilities and financial support from institutional sources. The area of cottage industries has now broadened remarkably from simple indigenous technology based and home-made products to sophisticated HANDICRAFTS of wide varieties. History of cottage industries in Bengal:
Among the cottage industries of Bengal, COTTON is the most important, and has a history of at least two thousand years. During Roman times, MUSLIN of Eastern Bengal was a passion and a fashion with the richest of Roman ladies. One of the striking characteristics of Bengal's handloom cotton TEXTILE and SILK industry was their exceptional diffusion throughout the country. In pre-British Bengal, the cotton industry was organized under pure handicraft or the domestic system of production. Small but independent producers carried on the process of production with the assistance of their own families and occasionally with the help of waged laborers. Some craftsmen, ARTISANS, and other small industrial entrepreneurs and workers were dependent on the capital of MAHAJANs. During the Mughal era, cottage industries were allowed to flourish. Only a few weavers who worked in the royal karkhanas (factories) were affected to some extent because of Mughal rules. With the coming of Europeans, the domestic system of production of cottage industries became much more common. Then European merchants, including the English and Dutch East India Companies, financed artisans, weavers, and other handicraft workers for producing goods for export to foreign destinations. Company officials however, attempted to oppress handloom cotton textile, weaving, and other cottage industries. British rulers imposed series of repressionary regulations by which they controlled price and production of textile and other cottage industry goods. In addition, the regulatory constraints, physical torture, forfeiting of goods, seizure of property, and prosecution for recovery of advances stifled weavers and made them disinclined to work for the EAST INDIA COMPANY. In fact, many indigenous artisans gave up their professions in protest. Following the Partition of Bengal in 1947, the government of Pakistan took some measures to revive and reinvigorate the declined and...
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