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Weavers on strike starting May 12
11
May '10
Weavers in the country have declared an indefinite strike, starting May 12, so as to persuade the government to re-start duty-free imports of yarn from India via the Benapole land-port, said members of the Bangladesh Handloom and Power-loom Owner's Association (BHPOA).

Supporting the strike are the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA). Owing to exorbitant rise in global yarn prices, weavers had started demanding duty-free imports of yarn. But the Bangladeshi government continued with the imposition of the ban on yarn imports.

Further more, prime minister's intervention was also demanded in order to meet the weavers' six-point demand. According to domestic manufacturers of yarn, lifting the ban on yarn imports will reduce the yarn prices and will therefore ruin the spinning sector.

Explaining the situation further, BKMEA President, Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan said that, following the ban on duty-free imports of yarn, the yarn prices started increasing since October last year. One pound of 40 count yarns was earlier available at Tk 65, whereas the price has now touched Tk 115.

More so, power-loom owners were not in a position to afford the increased prices and therefore failed in selling their products for a higher rate. This situation has already led to closure for 60 percent of the looms.

It is also alleged that Minister for Jute and Textiles failed to keep his word for opening the Benapole land-port. Although prices of products have risen in the global market, but the prices have been blown out of proportion, by the spinners.

As per BKMEA Vice-President, Zahidul Huq Bhuiyan, due to low manufacturing capacity, demand of yarn in the country had increased. While the yearly demand of yarn is one million tons, 700,000 tons are utilized by the knitting sector and the remaining is utilized by the weaving industry. But the manufacturing capacity of the 266 spinning mills is only six lakh tons.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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