Ministry seeks Tk 10,000cr scheme like BB’s EDF

Moinul Haque | Updated at 12:41am on August 27, 2017

The textiles and jute ministry has sought a Tk 10,000-crore export promotion fund for the jute sector so that jute and jute goods exporters can get low-interest loans from the fund.
The ministry recently sent a letter to the finance ministry and Bangladesh Bank in this connection.
In the letter, the textiles and jute ministry said exporters, who produce products using imported raw materials, are getting loans at only two per cent rate of interest from the BB’s Export Development Fund but the jute and jute goods exporters are not eligible for the loans as they make their products using only local raw materials.
In a recent meeting of the advisory committee on jute, state minister for textiles and jute Mirza Azam also requested the finance ministry and the central bank to allow a fund worth Tk 10,000 crore like the EDF for the jute sector.
He said exporters are getting low-cost loan facilities from the EDF worth $2.5 billion but the jute sector exporters are not getting loans from the fund as the sector uses raw materials from local source only.
In the meeting, Bangladesh Jute Mills Association secretary Md Abdul Barik Khan said the jute sector exporters should get more low-cost loans than the exporters in other sectors receive as jute goods exporters are using local source for raw materials.
He said the export sectors including readymade garment, leather, ceramics and plastics are getting loans from the EDF at only two per cent interest and all the sectors depend on imported raw materials for producing export products.
The policy of Bangladesh Bank for the EDF should be changed so that not only the raw material importing export sectors but also the jute sector can get the benefit from the fund, Barik said.
Nasima Begum, joint secretary (jute) of the textiles and jute ministry, on Saturday told New Age that the ministry had send a letter to the finance ministry and Bangladesh Bank seeking an EDF-like fund worth Tk 10,000 crore for promoting jute sector’s export.
‘We are yet to get any feedback from the finance ministry,’ she said.