Dhaka, Saturday, 12 June 2021

Jute exporters to enjoy block-account facilities for outstanding loans

Jute exporters to enjoy block-account facilities for outstanding loans

Staff Correspondent: The government will announce a package for the development of jute sector by May, 2017, said Finance Minister A M A Muhith.

The proposed package will be finalised after discussion with the Ministry of Textiles and Jute. The jute exporters will enjoy block-account facilities for their outstanding loans, he added.

The finance minister was speaking at a view exchange meeting with the raw jute exporters. Bangladesh Jute Association (BJA) organised the programme in the capital on 29 March.

Mr Muhith said the government has decided not to impose any ban on raw jute export in future, as Bangladesh is the lone raw jute exporting country in the world.

“Although raw jute export was banned twice during the present government’s tenure, I was always against it.”

When a country becomes lone exporter of any item, it should not impose ban on that, as the importing countries face trouble due to the situation, he further said.

Mr Muhith also requested the sector insiders to give utmost priority to producing quality seeds to meet the local demand. “If Bangladesh produces quality jute seeds, the quality of jute will be better.”

The jute is around 250-year-old export-oriented sector of this land. It will sustain in the coming years also, he observed.

Mirza Azam, state minister for textiles and jute, said local farmers grew 8.5 million bales of raw jute last year. This year the production will increase to 10 million bales. Following good demand the growers are now very much interested to cultivate jute in their land, he also said.

He requested the finance minister to include jute goods in the list of processed agricultural products, and also bring the exporters under the purview of existing Export Development Fund (EDF) facilities. He also urged the minister to consider the situation of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) with sympathy.

BJMC is gradually recovering losses after various irregularities in the state-owned organization are curbed. It recovered Tk 2.00 billion loss within last one year, he mentioned.

Monnujan Sufian, chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Labour and Employment, urged the finance minister to provide necessary subsidy to jute sector, and actively consider the demands of raw jute exporters.

S K Syed Ali, chairman of BJA, and Rezaul Karim, chairman of Shippers’ Council of Bangladesh (SCB), among others, spoke at the meeting.