Exporters see no hope of India lifting jute anti-dumping duty

Jasim Uddin | Published: 02:03, Apr 12,2017

 
 

A file photo shows workers sewing jute bags at a factory on the outskirts of Dhaka. Bangladeshi jute goods exporters see no hope of withdrawal of anti-dumping duty imposed by India on import of jute goods from Bangladesh as the deadline for legal battle ended on April 5 with only one local exporter filing appeal. — New Age photo

Bangladesh jute goods exporters see no hope of withdrawal of anti-dumping duty imposed by India on import of jute goods from Bangladesh as the deadline for legal battle ended on April 5 with no local exporters, except one, filing appeal.
On the other hand, the visit of prime minister Sheikh Hasina has not brought any hope for jute exporters as India did not make any specific decision on the issue, said sector leaders.
The government will also have to wait for at least one year for seeking review of the decision in line with the anti-dumping duty law.
Until then, there is no legal way to fight with India against the duty and the only option to go to the World Trade Organisation against the decision of India.
Generally, the duty ranging from $19 to $351.72 a tonne on jute goods from Bangladesh will remain effective for five years unless the issue is solved earlier.
Leaders of Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association and Bangladesh Jute Mills Association on Tuesday told New Age that there was no legal way for Bangladeshi exporters to fight against the duty imposed on the products on January 5 as they missed the deadline to file appeal.
BJSA and BJMA have no information whether any exporter filed appeal or not as no exporter apprised the associations, they said.
They, however, heard that only Anwar Jute Spinning Mills filed appeal with the Indian authority against imposition of the duty, they said.
Indian finance ministry on January 5 imposed the duty following an investigation of India’s Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) for an alleged dumping of the products in the Indian market by Bangladeshi exporters.
The decision hit hard Bangladesh’s jute products like yarn, twine, sacks, bags and fabrics export to its neighbouring country as overall export slumped 52 per cent to 6,872 tonnes in January and 37 per cent to 6,155 tonnes in February compared with the same months in last year.
‘We have no information whether any exporter lodged appeal against the duty,’ said BJSA secretary general Shahidul Karim.
BJSA represents 90 per cent of total exporters in the country.
BJMA secretary Abdul Barik Khan also said that they had no information on the issue.
Officials of the Bangladesh Tariff Commission also said that no exporter informed anything to the commission or sought assistance on the issue.
Former vice-president of BJSA Abul Hossain said that exporters thought that the issue would be solved politically during the visit of prime minister Sheikh Hasina to India. So, exporters did not file appeal though some exporters initially considered filing appeal, he said.
‘Exporters made a mistake by not filing appeal as the issue was not solved during the PM’s visit though it is uncertain of getting any positive outcome from appeal,’ he said.
According to the joint statement on the visit, India assured that it would look into the matter while Sheikh Hasina drew attention of Narendra Modi on the issue.
Hossain Khaled, managing director of Anwar Jute Spinning Mills Ltd, told New Age that they filed appeal as the process of imposition of the duty was unjust as the duty was imposed on false information.
‘But now I have abandoned the hope. I don’t see any reason to keep high hope on the process when no progress was made during the PM’s visit,’ he said.
Experts and exporters said that only new shippers could seek exemption from the duty arguing that they would not export during the period of investigation.

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