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Jute industry wants govt help in exports

March 10, 2015

With Bangladesh blunting the edge of domestic jute manufacturers in the export market, the industry has urged an external market assistance scheme.

The industry feels the idea, ending with the Union textiles ministry for three years, can help increase its share of export.

“It was suggested by the National Jute Board (NJB). In its absence, we have been reduced to residual sellers in the global market. We are not in a position to compete with Bangladesh, which offers 10 per cent cash subsidy to its exporters,” said Raghav Gupta, chairman, Indian Jute Mills Association (Ijma), the apex body of the industry.

Indian jute manufacturers ship around 200,000 tonnes of jute goods abroad, valued at Rs 2,000 crore. Bangladesh exports 800,000 tonnes, worth Rs 5,000 crore. In 2013-14, we exported no raw jute; Bangladesh exported both raw jute and jute goods.

Jute manufacturers were also let down by political turmoil in major jute bag-importing countries such as Thailand and Syria, leading to the loss of nearly 75,000 tonne of export demand.

Rising import from Bangladesh is another worrying factor. Under South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) treaty, there is no customs duty on jute goods import from Bangladesh. While, the cash subsidy of 10 per cent on jute goods export from Bangladesh is also applicable to those made to India.

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