General

Dastagir for duty exemption to promote use of local pulp

Textiles and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi today said to encourage the jute sector, the government may consider duty exemption for the entrepreneurs who use local pulp in their production.

“The export development fund (EDF) facility should be made accessible to the country’s jute exporters. In regard to jute-based pulp and paper, a well-designed pilot project can be initiated on the basis of an effective proposal,” he said.

The minister said during a meeting with Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) Chairperson Abul Kasem Khan at his office in the city, said a press release.

Following the example of neighboring countries, Golam Dastagir Gazi said, the government will look into framing relevant policies to support the industry but it will need feedback and support from various stakeholders, including jute traders, large farmers and local entrepreneurs and investors.

He added that innovative ideas need to receive policy support from the government for bringing in positive and transformative change in the sector.

Abul Kasem Khan said that production of jute-based pulp from local green jute would not only be an attractive business proposition for the sector, but it would also enable to make strides towards becoming a green economy and addressing climate change and environmental sustainability.

In that respect, he recommended for a ‘Jute Pulp and Paper Act’ similar to the existing Jute Packaging Act which has worked well for popularizing jute-based packaging in the country.

He said the country produces 47.41 percent of world production of jute, yet imports 500-600 tonnes of pulp annually worth more than US$600 million.

“We need to set up mills to produce high quality pulp from local green jute which can help the rural economy and meet its entire demand for export,” he added.

He also urged the government to consider policy benefits for the sector by encouraging government purchase of jute pulp-based paper in addition to other initial policy supports so that local jute-based pulp producers can take off in business growth and eventually contribute for export in the context of burgeoning demand in the world market as wood-based pulp is discouraged.

 

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)