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Dhaka Tribune

Tofail backs low-rate credit for tea growers

Update : 06 May 2014, 06:36 PM

The commerce ministry has requested the finance division to include the tea growers into the category of providing low-interest credit facilities, which is now being offered by the central bank to the spice producing farmers who enjoys loans at only 2% interest. 

“We will place the commerce ministry’s proposal to the finance minister to incorporate the tea growers along with spice producing farmers, so they can also avail the loan at only 2% interest rate,” a senior official of the finance division told the Dhaka Tribune.

The official also said the government wanted to raise local tea production as the imported tea engulfed the local market, which might be reflected in the budget for the next fiscal year.

Bangladesh Bank gives credit to spice producing farmers, who produce lentil, oil seed, and other spice crops, with only 2% interest rate from the commercial banks.

Md Atiqur Rahman, a joint secretary of the commerce ministry, sent a letter to the finance secretary Fazle Kabir with a request to include the tea growers into the low-interest credit rate, which is given to the spice crop producers.

The country’s tea import marked a sharp rise in 2013 despite a record domestic production of the popular beverage. Its import rose by 4.4m kg in only one year’s time. A record 63.5m kg of teas was produced in 2013, up by 1.0m kg from 2012.

It showed a 1.16% growth in 2013 compared to that previous year and tea production showed a robust 5.6% per cent growth in 2012 compared to that of 2011 when 59.15m kg was produced from the country’s 160 tea estates.

Besides, Bangladesh earned just Tk19 crore in 2013, which was Tk500 crore ten years back, according the Export Promotion Bureau data.

In July-March period of the current financial year, Bangladesh exported tea worth US$2.53m, which is 47% higher compared to $1.72m of the last fiscal year. In FY 2012-13, export earnings from tea sector was $2.44m. 

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