Tariff body drafting deal for cotton import from IndiaStaff Correspondent
Bangladesh Tariff Commission is preparing a draft of an agreement for signing with India seeking assurance of the neighbouring country for supplying minimum 15 lakh bales of cotton every year even if India bans cotton export, BTC officials said.
The draft agreement will be sent to commerce ministry for scrutiny early next month when a delegation of Indian textile ministry is scheduled to visit Dhaka in this regard from May 5, they said.
‘The BTC is now working on the draft seeking assurance from India of providing 15 lakh bales of cotton every year even if there is any ban on export of cotton by that country,’ tariff commission chairman Mozibur Rahman told New Age on Sunday.
The tariff commission has already talked with the stakeholders in this regard and will hold another meeting with them in the current week, officials said.
The commerce ministry wants the agreement to be finalised at a meeting between Bangladesh and Indian delegations in Dhaka during the latter’s visit from May 5, they said.
The ministry’s move came following the latest ban on cotton export by India on March 5 after similar sudden bans in last few years.
Bangladesh textile millers and spinners and other apparel sector stakeholders import around 15 lakh bales of cotton from India every year and imposition of sudden bans by India puts the country’s apparel sector in trouble.
According to Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, the annual cotton consumption in Bangladesh is 40 lakh bales.
Bangladeshi textile millers said that after the imposition of ban, the price of yarn had increased on the local market. Comparatively cheaper Indian yarn occupies the yarn market of Bangladesh.
The government has already requested India to sign a long-term agreement on cotton export so that any ban on export by India did not affect cotton export to Bangladesh.
The Indian government has also shown interest to sign such an agreement when a Bangladesh delegation, led by commerce secretary Ghulam Hossain, visited India in March, commerce ministry officials said.
Textile millers said that cotton supply security in local market would be ensured once a long-term agreement on cotton import was signed with India as Bangladesh needs to import around 17 to 20 lakh bales of cotton from that country.
Commerce ministry officials said that though the agreement would be signed between the two governments, businessmen from textile sectors, not the government, would import cotton.
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Date:Tuesday, 24th April, 2012