Draft Textile Policy-2014 seeks to double production    

The government has drafted the ‘Textile Policy 2014’ aiming to double the local textile production by the fiscal year 2019-20, sources said.

The annual combined demand for fabric from the domestic market and the export-oriented garment sector is around 11,400 million metres, of which 62 per cent, about 7,000 million metres, is met locally.

Now, the government has targeted to raise the domestic production to 14,036 metres by 2019-20, double the existing production, they added.

textile chemicalThe move to prepare a new policy was initiated since the existing ‘Textile Policy of 1995’ has been failing to address the developments in local as well as global textile markets, officials said.

“The fast-growing local textile sector is expected to flourish with the creation of more skilled workforce, high value-added products through research and use of modern technology. The private sector will play the lead role while the government will provide policy support,” the draft said.

The draft policy has recommended reduction of interest rate on bank loan to attract new investment, setting up of industrial park for export-oriented garment sector, duty waiver for imported raw material and tax holiday to encourage industrial units in less developed areas across the country.

The draft has also suggested coordinated efforts among the sub-sectors.

When asked, a senior official of the Ministry of Textiles and Jute said, they had sought opinion from all concerned stakeholders by October 20 last.

“We have got their opinion and will scrutinise those. We will incorporate new recommendations, if needed,” he added.

The ministry will hold a meeting shortly and finalise the draft, he said adding after that the draft would be sent to the cabinet for approval.

“It is not impossible to double the local production if energy is available. To achieve the target, there should be a directive regarding energy,” said Jahangir Alamin, president of the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association.

He also suggested low interest-bearing long-term bank loan to make investment in the sector viable saying the short-term fund, provided with such a high interest rate, will not help.

Regarding the new provision of administrative role of the Directorate of Textiles, he said, “We want one-stop service so that we get all required clearances including that relating to environment under one umbrella.”

If an entrepreneur needs to move door to door for different certificates or clearance, the existence of such a body would mean nothing, he opined.

The lion’s share of the local demand is met by the primary textile sector while it meets 30-35 per cent of woven and 80 to 85 per cent of knit fabrics demand, sources added.

According to the BTMA, there are 743 textile mills, 383 yarn and 238 dyeing, printing and finishing mills across the country.