The Bangladesh Textile Mills Association on Saturday urged the government to impose anti-dumping duty on Indian and Pakistani yarns to protect local manufacturers from cheap imports of the item from the neighbouring countries.
The association made the proposal to the government one week after Indian apparel manufacturers had proposed to impose duty on import of readymade garment items from Bangladesh to protect their domestic industry.
BTMA president Mohammad Ali Khokon in a letter to finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, said that Bangladesh’s competitor countries like India and Pakistan had taken different undue initiatives, including exporting yarns, fabrics and other textile raw materials at dumping prices, to retain their market shares on the global market during the coronavirus pandemic.
Clothing Manufacturers Association of India president Rakesh Biyani on May 22 said in a letter to India’s textile minister Smriti Zubin Irani that their domestic industry was under threat because of duty-free imports from different countries, including Bangladesh.
BTMA, however, termed the proposals placed by the Indian apparel makers unacceptable, saying that the volume of Bangladesh’s import of textile products from India was 1,300 times higher than the volume of Bangladesh’s RMG export to the country.
India sits on a stockpile of yarns as export remained almost halted due to the coronavirus pandemic and now the country has started to export the item to Bangladesh at dumping prices in an attempt to reduce the size of that inventory, the letter said.
Considering the international prices of cotton and the cost of other components for production, the BTMA president claimed that India was exporting its 40-count combed yarn at rates lower than the production cost.
He said that the Bangladeshi manufacturers had been faced with undue competition due to the below-cost import of yarn from India.
Against the aggressive promotional policy adopted by the competitors, the country would have to adopt a sustainable policy, including imposition of anti-dumping duty on yarn import and increasing cash incentive on free on board prices to 10 per cent from the existing 4 per cent, to protect its spinning and weaving mills, the BTMA said.
The trade body said that Bangladesh’s primary textile sector with investments worth $8 billion was working as a dynamic backward linkage industry and supplying 80 per cent of knit and 35 per cent of woven fabrics to the export-oriented readymade garment sector.
Due to the use of local inputs, the value of RMG export had increased to $35 billion from $26 billion in the last five years but it was apprehended that RMG and textile exports would decline by 40 per cent in the European Union, the largest export market for Bangladesh, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the BTMEA letter read.
Under the circumstances, imposition of anti-dumping duty on the import of yarn from neighboring countries and provision of 10 per cent cash incentive on FoB prices would help the spinning and weaving mills to combat the risks posed by low-cost imports amid the COVID 19, the trade body said.
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