New jute policy suggests setting minimum price

Staff Correspondent | Published at 10:18pm on August 11, 2018

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A file photo shows a woman carrying jute fibres. The government has framed National Jute Policy-2018 with scope for creating a fund for modernisation of the sector and fixing minimum price of the golden fibre at the beginning of the jute cultivation season. — New Age photo

The government has framed National Jute Policy-2018 with scope for creating a fund for modernisation of the sector and fixing minimum price of the golden fibre at the beginning of the jute cultivation season.
Textile and jute ministry published the new policy on Bangladesh Gazette in the first week of this month, repealing National Jute Policy-2011.
Earlier on May 2018, the cabinet approved the new policy aiming to revive the true economic potential of the sector.
According to the policy, the government will actively consider forming a technology upgrading fund to modernise both public and private jute mills in line with global demand for jute and jute goods.
The government will arrange bank loans at a reduced interest rate for entrepreneurs as part of incentives to develop the jute sector.
Jute industry will also be declared an agro-based industry so that it can enjoy tax benefits and fiscal incentives given to agro-based industries.
The policy has identified five strategic priorities that include quality jute production, ensuring fair price of jute, diversification of jute goods, modernisation of jute mills and expansion of market for the product.
The government will provide incentives and take regulatory measures to ensure proper and fair price for farmers.
Minimum price for jute will be declared at the beginning of the season after consultation with the stakeholders, the policy says.
The prospect of the golden fibre, which was once the highest export earning sector immediate after the independence of the country, has again become a potential sector following the rise in demand for environment-friendly fibre across the globe.
Around four crore people directly and indirectly are involved with the sector — from jute cultivation to jute goods production, sales and export.
The sector also contributes 3.86 per cent of total export earnings and one dollar-export earning from the jute and jute goods is equivalent to four-dollar earning from readymade garment export, according to the policy.
According to the policy, the government will also form jute sector skills council under National Skills Development Council to enhance capacity at every stage of production of public and private jute mills.
A feasibility study will be conducted to establish a college for jute technology for providing degree and diploma courses on jute industrial engineering and management to develop skilled manpower including engineers and technician having knowledge on jute technology.
The policy will also work to attract both domestic and foreign direct investment in modernising jute mills and setting up new jute mills at unused plots of the government’s jute mills.
An investment support cell will be established at Department of Jute to support investors in the sector.
A feasibility study will be conducted to establish a jute goods and jute technology research institute for adopting and developing modern technology and diversifying jute goods.
A campaign will be run in international media on environment-friendliness and natural decomposition nature of jute fibre against the artificial fibre and to promote jute geo-textile products.
There will also be a national jute sector coordination committee, a jute policy implementation and monitoring committee and a jute policy implementation cell and all of the three will be consisted of representatives from public and private sectors.