Govt bans jute export for one month

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The government on Monday imposed a ban on raw jute export for one month with effect from today in a bid to ensure supply of the fibre to the local jute mills and to implement the Mandatory Jute Packaging Act 2010.
In a circular, the textiles and jute ministry said that for the proper implementation of mandatory jute packaging act under section 4 and 13 of the Jute Ordinance 1962 the export of raw jute would remain stopped for one month from November 3.
Jute exporters, however, said that the sudden decision of banning export of raw jute would hurt them.
They also demanded compensation for the losses they would incur for the sudden decision as a good number of consignments are in waiting for export.
Earlier, jute spinners at a meeting with the textiles and jute ministry demanded that the government should impose a ban on export of raw jute as they had been forced to keep production suspended at their mills for two days in a week due to a shortage of raw jute.
In the meeting, the textiles and jute ministry had taken a decision to assess production, consumption and demand for raw jute before imposing any ban on export.
The ministry had also issued an order asking the traders not to stock more than 1,000 maunds of jute at a time for over a month.
Despite the move by the ministry to ensure available supply of raw jute, the decision was not implemented in the field level due to lack of monitoring by the officials of jute directorate, traders said.
Recently, state minister for textiles and jute Mirza Azam has admitted that the raw jute is being stocked breaching the government order.
A ministry source said that the local jute mills were suffering from raw jute crisis as some traders stocked the item in huge quantity.
The ministry wants to implement the mandatory jute packaging act and to do so the availability of raw jute is important, the source said.
According to the source, the government has decided to suspend export of raw jute for the time being mainly to break syndicate of stockists.
‘We are not against implementation of mandatory jute packaging act but the government will have to compensate the traders as the sudden decision would hurt exporters,’ Md Rezaul Karim, former chairman of the Bangladesh Jute Exporters Association, told New Age on Monday.
He said that government should break the stockist syndicate; imposing ban on export was not a solution.
Rezaul, also president of the Shippers’ Council of Bangladesh, said the private sector businesspeople depend on the high-cost bank
loan and the government should waive bank loan interest for the jute exporters.
According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics data, about 75 lakh bales of jute are annually produced in Bangladesh. Local consumption of raw jute stands at about 50 lakh bales while the export of raw jute stands at about 20 lakh bales.
The Export Promotion Bureau data showed that the export earnings from raw jute in the financial year 2014-15 stood at $111.57 million.
Source: New Age

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