Bangladesh’s jute ministry is working on a policy to set up a Tk-10,000 crore fund to offer low-cost loans to farmers, traders, industrialists, goods producers and exporters for developing the jute sector. A panel headed by Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) chairman Mohammad Mahmudul Hassan has prepared the draft for the Jute Sector Development Fund.
The government should form a 20-year revolving fund based on the budgetary allocation to provide the loans, which should be disbursed at 5 per cent interest and half of the interest payments should come from the state coffer as subsidy, according to the panel’s recommendations.
Bangladesh Bank would manage the fund, to which other banks would also enjoy access under refinancing arrangement, the committee suggested.Except for farmers, none without licence for jute and jute goods business will be eligible for getting loans from the fund.
Around 2 lakh people work in 176 mills, which process two thirds of Bangladesh’s annual jute production of 14 lakh tonnes, according to the Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association. Out of that, 8.36 lakh tonnes are exported and the rest consumed locally.
Image Source: SSALI BD.