The Bangladesh Jute Association (BJA) has demanded withdrawal of ban on the export of various categories of raw jute slapped by the Ministry of Textiles and Jute on January 18.
Traders, farmers and workers expressed concern that the ban on exporting uncut Bangla tossa rejection (BTR) and Bangla white rejection (BWR) jute would cause them huge financial losses.
“We have been exporting raw jute for a long time; it is a source of revenue. Earlier on several occasions, raw jute export was stopped in 1984, 2009 and 2015, and the export was hampered in 2013-2014 due to political unrest. On those occasions, raw jute exporters faced loss, many of whom were forced to quit the business,” said BJA President Sheikh Syed Ali.
He said they resumed business following a circular issued by the Ministry of Finance in April last year, but the Ministry of Textiles and Jute issued a circular on January 18 this year, banning export of uncut BTR and BWR grade jute again, and without any discussion.
Jute traders said they would incur huge losses due to this decision by the government, because they would lose foreign buyers, which would severely affect the sector.
Jute trader Md Abdus Sobhan Sharif said they exported low quality raw jute since no local jute mills bought it.
“If the low quality jute is not exported, the local market price of all categories of jute will fall. There will be a huge stock of lower quality jute, and farmers will stop producing jute,” he said.
Another jute trader, named Md Fazlur Rahman Sharif, said an estimated 700,000-800,000 bales of raw jute are produced in Bangladesh every year.
Of them, 400,000-450,000 bales of jute are used in local mills.
“The rest of the produce is exported. Even after that, we have a surplus of raw jute every year. If export of raw jute is hampered, hundreds of thousands of workers will become jobless,” Fazlur said.