Local private jute millers and spinners have demanded of the government to waive the source tax from their export earnings as they were struggling to survive due to political unrest and economic slowdown in the key export markets.
Currently, the source tax on the export of jute products is 0.60 per cent.
They also demanded increasing the cash subsidy for all the jute goods exporters to 20 per cent to help increase their exports.
Presently, the jute yarn exporters enjoy 7.5 per cent cash incentive while sacks exporters 12 per cent and diversified jute goods exporters 20 per cent.
Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA) and Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA) jointly placed their demands to the Ministry of Textiles and Jute through a recent letter, the millers said.
Their other demands included allocating a fund of Tk 100 billion in the upcoming budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 to create a low-cost export development fund, enforcement of Mandatory Jute Packaging Act-2010, and enlisting jute goods as processed agricultural products.
The millers said jute is one of the vital sectors in the country. As an eco-friendly product, the sector deserves more attention of the government. So, the government should extend cooperation to the exporters like the apparel and other industries.
They also said the export of traditional jute products dropped drastically due to political unrest and economic slowdown in the key export destination countries, including Syria and Turkey. They could not yet recover the losses for lack of new export markets.
When asked, Abdul Barik Khan, secretary general of BJMA, said that despite having a large potential, the sector is struggling hard for survival.
He said the sector lost many markets due to political unrest and economic slowdown. The local use of jute goods has not also been increased to a desired level. So they need supports from the government, he said.
The millers urged the government to procure equal volume of jute goods from the public and private jute mills and extend all necessary cooperation to them.
Mr. Khan also sought immediate implementation of the block account facilities as announced by the government four months back.
Around 40 million people are engaged in the jute sector of Bangladesh. A total of 7.5 million bales of raw jute were produced in the fiscal year (FY) 2017-18. The production of jute goods was 1.1 million tonnes, of which 0.89 million tonnes was produced by private sector, said the millers.
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