Dhaka, Delhi start negotiation today on cotton supply dealStaff Correspondent
Dhaka begins a formal negotiation with New Delhi in the capital today on the signing of a long-term contract by way of which India will supply Bangladesh an assured quantity of cotton every year even if India bans cotton export, commerce ministry officials said.
Officials of the two countries will decide the quantity of assured cotton and other procedural matters of the contract.
A delegation of Indian textile ministry, led by an additional secretary, will arrive in Dhaka this morning to attend the discussion that will span two days.
According to a draft of the agreement prepared by the Bangladesh Tariff Commission, Bangladesh wants assurance of India for supplying a minimum of 15 lakh bales (170kg each) of cotton every year, BTC officials said.
‘In the agreement, Bangladesh will seek Indian commitment of supplying the agreed quantity of cotton at market price every year if there is a ban on the export of cotton by India,’ an official told New Age on Saturday.
Although the agreement will be signed between the two governments, businessmen from textile sectors, and not the government, will import cotton, he said, also a member of the Bangladesh delegation led by the commerce ministry’s additional secretary Ruhul Amin Sarkar.
If the delegations can reach a consensus, the agreement will be signed soon, the officials said.
Cotton supply security for local market will be ensured once a long-term agreement on cotton import is signed with India as Bangladesh needs to import around 17 lakh to 20 lakh bales of cotton from India.
According to Indian media reports, the country decided on principle to supply Bangladesh with an assured quantity of cotton under the contract, but the country might seek higher price or premium than that on the international market.
India is, however, yet to decide how much cotton it will supply. The quantity will be decided in the meeting.
In reply to a question on additional prices, the Bangladesh textile Mills Association president, Jahangir Alamin, said that Bangladesh should not agree to such a condition as that country might again impose a ban to get higher prices or premium.
‘Why will we buy cotton from India if we need to pay more than the international market price?’ he told New Age.
‘Indian authorities discussed nothing when the commerce secretary Ghulam Hussain visited the country in March. A BTMA representative also went with him. I also attended,’ Jahangir said.
He, however, said that as the long-term agreement would assure uninterrupted cotton supply from India, a country of the nearest point for Bangladeshi cotton importers, BTMA wanted that the agreement should be immediately signed.
The ministry’s move to sign a long-term agreement came in the wake of the latest ban on cotton export by India on March 5 after similar sudden bans over a few years.
According to the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, the annual cotton consumption in Bangladesh is 40 lakh bales.
comments powered by Disqus