State minister for textiles and jute Mirza Azam has said the prospect of jute sector is brighter than the country’s readymade garment sector and it will overtake the RMG sector within five years.
At a seminar on ‘Prospect of jute sector in economic growth’ on Saturday the state minister said along with the promising domestic market the government had taken initiatives to increase the export of jute and jute goods to the international market.
Khondaker Golam Moazzem, research director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, presented a keynote paper in the event organised by the Economic Reporters Forum at CIRDAP auditorium in the capital.
Azam said that the government would take initiative to conduct a research on the international market and will promote entrepreneurs to produce diversified products.
Regarding incurring losses of the BJMC, he cited corruption as reason, adding that there were also some logical grounds.
‘We have already taken some stapes to stop corruption which will reduce operation loss of BJMC mills,’ the junior minister said.
He said that the jute ministry would take programme to produce high quality of jute seeds in the country as Bangladesh is largely depended on India for seeds.
Khondaker Golam Moazzem said that a domestic-guided market would have to be ensured for the jute and jute goods as the sector faced the challenges of the imposition of anti-dumping duty in export market.
He said that jute sector of Bangladesh was struggling between emotion, politics and market pressure.
‘Bangladesh needs to change its narrative on the jute sector by putting emphasis on establishing a competitive jute industry,’ Moazzem said.
He suggested rationalising the public sector jute mills in terms of size as large-scale mills were getting unviable and low returned.
Citing the performance of public sector jute mills, Moazzem said that the production cost of the member mills of the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation was much higher than the private sector jute mills.
Despite providing financial support the BJMC mills were still being operated in huge losses, he said.
Moazzem recommended for redesigning overall incentive structure, allocating more resources for foreign investment, technological upgradation and creating skilled professionals for the jute sector.
‘The government’s political message should focus on developing a competitive jute sector’, he added.
Md Mahmudul Hassan, chairman of the BJMC, said there were logical causes of varying the production cost widely between public and private jute mills as there were differences in the wage structure between the two sectors.
The government has taken initiatives to eliminate the irregularities from the mills to reduce the losses, he said.
Mahmudul said that there was huge potential of jute sector and the private sector businesses would have to take lead in the sector.
Bangladesh Shippers Council president Md Rezaul Karim said that the government would have to pay more attention to the jute sector as the exporters of the sector produced the product from 100 per cent local materials while RMG exporters imported before export.
Director general of the Department of Jute Mosleh Uddin and ERF president Saif Islam Dilal and secretary Ziaur Rahman also spoke at the programme.
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