Bangladesh has allowed export of 11,000 tons of jute to Pakistan, which was booked before exports were banned in November 2015, but shortage may still occur as Islamabad has not taken up the matter with Dhaka to get the issue resolved immediately, says a local industry official.
“Pakistan Jute Mills Association will meet local demand after receiving jute consignments for which letters of credit were established before imposition of the ban on exports by the government of Bangladesh,” a spokesman for the association said in a statement on Thursday.
With sufficient supply, he said, the jute industry would be in a position to meet the demand of federal and provincial governments this year.
The spokesman asked the government to avoid using hazardous packaging material like polypropylene for food storage and utilise jute so that the industry could plan investments in capacity utilisation and jute cultivation in the country.
“This will not only make the country self-sufficient in raw material but will also help in finding export avenues as a majority of foreign markets are in the grip of two regional countries.”
If the government provided support for developing technical infrastructure along with guidance and a long-term policy for jute cultivation, the export of jute products after value addition could earn handsome foreign exchange for the country, he said.
According to the association, the local industry has the capacity to produce 125,000 tons of jute per annum. It provides direct employment to 25,000 people and indirectly supports livelihood of 100,000 people.
It says the industry also helps saves $100 million through import substitution and contributes over Rs800 million to the economy in the form of duties, taxes, levies and surcharges.
-The Express Tribune