The government has offered special incentive for the raw jute exporters allowing them to reschedule their defaulted loans with the state-owned commercial banks at 8 per cent interest rate in next 10 years, officials said. Ministry of finance on Sunday issued a notice in this connection stating that the businessmen who exported raw jute between 2009 and 2013 would enjoy the privileges.
First three years of the stipulated 10 years would be regard as grace period, according to the notice, said the officials.
The amount of bad loan is more than Tk 100 crore and is with the four state-owned commercial banks.
Incentives for the raw jute exporters came after the government offered incentives including cut in export duty and rescheduling of loans of the ready made garment exporters.
Bangladesh Jute Association has long been demanding for a moratorium for 10 years on bank interest of raw jute exporters due to sluggish demand for the item globally.
According to statistics at jute department, some 22.85 lakh bales of raw jute were exported during 2011-12 fiscal year while 20.55 lakh bales of raw jute were exported during last 2012-13 fiscal year.
Only 2.15 lakh bales of raw jute were exported till December 2, 2013, the statistics showed.
Jute department officials assumed that export of jute would be reduced by more than 50 per cent during the current year compared with the amount of raw jute exported last year.
Besides, the country’s jute production fell for third year to 74.36 lakh bales in 2013-14 season as sliding exports hit the price of jute, discouraging farmers to cultivate the cash crop.
In 2010-11 season, jute production had hit a record high of 84.60 lakh bales as the export of jute and jute products was recorded worth US$ 1.1 billion that year.
-With New Age input