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Move to ease yarn import thru Benapole land port PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 April 2008

The government is likely to simplify the yarn import procedure through Benapole land port in the next budget or before the budget, reports UNB.

After a series of meetings with the stakeholders, National Board of Revenue (NBR) made a summary in this regard and will send the same to the Finance Adviser for approval.

An NBR official told the news agency that they are giving priority for making the proposed procedure effective from the next budget.

“If it is done in the budget, we will have to issue just an SRO. Otherwise, we’ll have to issue several SROs,” the official said.

Knitwear manufacturers repeatedly demanded for procedural simplification in case of yarn import from India through Benapole land port amid rising prices of the item in the local market.

“We are hopeful, the government will consider our plea for the greater interest of the sector,” said Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) president Fazlul Huq.

At present, hardly anyone imports yarn through Benapole land port due to procedural problems in respect of customs, bond license and transportation, although the government lifted ban on import of yarn using this land port two years ago.

BKMEA said Bangladesh’s position as a knitwear exporting country would be more advantageous in the international market with the easing of the procedures for importing yarn using Benapole land port like Chittagong Port.

Our Correspondent adds: The knitwear sub-sector of apparel industry apparently suffered a setback following yarn-price hike in local market that reportedly reduced overall productivity by at least 10 percent in recent times, said a leader of the BKMEA.

Industry-insiders apprehended that the productivity of the second-largest foreign currency earner could fall by 25 percent in the next three months if the government did not take prompt decisions to meet the yarn demand.

Knitwear exporters claimed that the price of yarn shot up in recent times pushing the cost of production and eroding the competitiveness of the sector.

Though price of yarn has increased, the export price of knitwear has not increased to that promotion, said the BKMEA leader.

The price of 30/1 count yarn has increased to 3.00 dollars per kg in the local market pushing the cost of knitwear products, said the leader.

Besides, the yarn manufacturers are recurrently failing to supply fabrics as per requirement of the knitwear exporters. They even could not deliver yarn within their committed deadline, posing a serious threat to the knitting industry.
As a result, production in the knit sector has gone down sharply in the recent days.

Under the circumstances, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) demanded of the government to allow them to import yarn from India through Benapole land port.

Admitting the downslide in production, BKMEA leader told the correspondent that they could not receive orders from their foreign clients for the shortage and price hike of yarn.

“This is our peak season for doing brisk business through receiving orders and delivering the products in time. But the shortage of yarn is beyond description—and some exporters have already lost their international buyers as they will not be able to deliver the goods in time,” he said.

He also said that generally winter is the peak season for Bangladeshi knitwear exporters as it is the time for shipment.
The situation has deteriorated with frequent power outrage and price spiral of essential commodities as industrial workers are struggling to survive in the existing situation.

“But I cannot imagine how we can regain the loss we are going to incur in the coming months as we will certainly fail to give delivery of the products if the existing yarn crisis existed few more days,” a fraught Fazlul Hoque said.

About the yarn shortages, the BKMEA leader claimed that there is no yarn in the market for knit industry.

“BTMA (Bangladesh Textile Mills Association) takes at least 4/5 weeks after signing agreement to provide with the yarn, but it would hardly take 4 days if the government opened Benapole land port for importing fabrics from India,” he said.

The BKMEA leader also called upon the Finance Minister to take immediate action in this regard, in order to avert a deeper crisis.
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