Country’s jute goods exporters are awaiting prime minister’s instruction to challenge the anti-dumping duty on import of jute and jute products from Bangladesh imposed by the Indian government on January 5.
The jute ministry, however, on Sunday decided that commerce minister Tofail Ahmed would discuss the issue with the Indian authorities during his expected visit to India for a meeting to be held on January 25 and 26.
The jute ministry has taken the decision in a meeting in the presence of representatives from commerce ministry and tariff commission that the commerce ministry and foreign ministry would take diplomatic efforts jointly to remove the anti-dumping duty imposed by the Indian government.
The ministry also took decision to include the anti-dumping issue in the agenda for discussions during prime minister’s upcoming India visit, meeting sources said.
‘The decision of the Indian government is unacceptable and it is nothing but an attempt to destroy our jute industry. Now we are waiting for the prime minister’s direction for challenging the anti-dumping duty,’ Abul Hossain, vice-president of Bangladesh Jute Spinners’ Association, told New Age.
He said that following the imposition of anti-dumping duty the export of jute goods to India remained almost stopped.
The government of India on January 5 imposed anti-dumping duty ranging from US$ 6.30 to US$ 351.72 a tonne on import of jute products from Bangladesh for the next five years.
India imposed the restriction as its jute goods producers alleged that Bangladeshi manufacturers got huge subsidies and dumped jute products in the Indian market.
Indian directorate general of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties has recommended imposition of a wide range of specific anti-dumping duties on three types of Bangladeshi jute products—jute yarn, jute sack and jute bag.
According to Beanpole customs office sources, the export of jute and jute goods declined by more than 50 per cent through the land port since the imposition of anti-dumping duty by the Indian authorities.
One of the customs officials said that raw jute was being exported but jute goods export remained almost stop.
Products of some of the companies on which anti-dumping duty are not applicable are being exported but the quantity is negligible, he said.
Md Rezaul Karim, chairman of the Shippers Council of Bangladesh, said that the export of raw jute to India remained as usual as anti-dumping duty was not applicable on the item.
According to Export Promotion Bureau data, the exports of jute and jute goods to India in the financial year 2015-16 grew by more than 150 per cent to US$ 260.74 million from US$ 104.51 million.
Of the US$ 260.74 million, US$ 96.68 million came from export of raw jute, US$ 86.93 million from jute yarn and twine and US$ 57.71 million from jute sacks and bags.
Country’s yearly export earnings from jute and jute goods stood about US$ 1 billion in the FY 16 and India accounted for 20 per cent of total export earnings.
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