The Ministry of Textiles and Jute (MOTJ) issued a notice on Monday announcing the withdrawal of the ban, which will come into force on April 3, media reports said.
An MOTJ official said the ban was being lifted as the supply position of raw jute is now better in the local market. "We had stopped raw jute export to keep its smooth supply in domestic market. Now the situation has improved, so the government has lifted the ban,”she said.
Initially the ban was imposed in November last year for one month to ensure supply of jute-made bags locally for compliance of the Mandatory Jute Packaging Law 2010 (MJPL). As per the law, selective crops like rice, wheat, sugar and maize have to be packaged in jute bags.
The lifting of the ban came amid pleas from raw jute exporters as many of them had to delay shipments owing to the ban.
Restrictions on raw jute exports had hurt the exporters badly, said Abdul Quayyum, Secretary of Bangladesh Jute Association adding that many traders could have avoided losses if the government had withdrawn the ban earlier.
Only a small number of businessmen would benefit from the move now, he said. “It may be helpful for those who have stock and have orders pending. However, the good thing is that we were at the risk of losing our markets abroad, which can now be retained,” Quayyum said.
Some raw jute-importing countries such as India and Nepal had also urged Bangladesh to lift the ban. The ministry had later eased the export ban for some categories of raw jute following their appeal.
On the other hand, jute millers are not happy with the government's decision. They said they would face difficulties to meet the local demand of jute bags as the demand has risen by more than 50 per cent. Domestic demand for raw jute has increased to 6 million bales from 4.5 million bales, according to the millers. They said that government's move to lift the ban on exports was likely to push up the price of the cash crop.
Before the ban, the country exported 2.1 million bales of raw jute out of its total production of 7 million bales, the millers pointed out. A total of 145 private and 26 public mills supply jute goods to local and overseas markets. (SH)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India
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