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A jute industry delegation, led by Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) chairman Manish Poddar, met Zokey Ahad, Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh, on Wednesday, seeking withdrawal of the ban on export of raw jute.
The Association said that the ban, imposed through an order dated December 2, needs to be withdrawn in the interest of commerce between two friendly neighbours, who are also SAARC members.
The IJMA said that even prior to the official ban, a one-month ban imposed by an order in November led to a freezing of contracts between Bangladesh raw jute sellers and Indian jute mills and traders. Commitments about 50,000 tonnes of raw jute are involved in these settled contracts.
The IJMA has already made a representation before the Union Minister of Commerce and the Union Minister of Textiles seeking their intervention in this matter.
The issue was also flagged at a meeting in New Delhi on the prevailing crisis in the jute industry which has triggered a 30 per cent rise in prices of the golden fibre and an artificial shortage created by hoarding. The Jute Commissioner is taking efforts to unearth these stocks and has also set holding limits.
At the New Delhi meeting, headed by Union Textiles Minister Santosh Gangwar last week, it was decided to approach the Union Commerce Ministry to pursue the matter relating to the lifting of the raw jute export ban by Bangladesh . At present, over 20 per cent of the jute mills in West Bengal are closed due to this crisis rendering over 50,000 jute workers jobless. Efforts have also been mounted to put the issue the discussion table of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday. It is not readily known whether Ms Banerjee had raised these issues.
From: The Hindu