Tofail deplores Indian anti-dumping duty on jute products

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DHAKA : Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed today
deplored the recent Indian imposition of anti-dumping duty on Bangladesh jute products, but hoped that the neighboring country would soon remove all trade barriers to further existing ties.

“It is a matter of great regret that India has imposed anti-dumping duty on Bangladesh jute goods which are supposed to enjoy duty and quota frees access to it instead,” the minister was quoted as saying at a meeting with the newly elected body of Dhaka Chambers of Commerce and Industries (DCCI) at his ministry here.

Tofail said India had provided duty and quota free access of all
Bangladesh products, except wine and tobacco, to its market earlier while it has now been imposing anti dumping duties and realizing 12.5 percent counter veiling duties from many other products.

The minister said India has always been a good and friendly neighbor and the people of Bangladesh still recall their contribution during the war of independence in 1971. The issue has been raised before New Delhi for discussions and Dhaka would again put it forward for amicable solutions, he added.

He also assured the business delegation that the present government would take all out measures to facilitate better business environment at home and abroad and would not take any measures that prevent the sectors persistent growth.

Tofail listed a number of positive indicators that enabled the country to fetch around 35 billion US dollar export earnings in 2016, which was merely 348 million dollars in 1972 and 105 billion in 2005-06. The export is expected to reach 37 billion in next fiscal to touch a 60-billion mark in 2021.

According to his ministry, Bangladesh’s per capita income reached 1,466 US dollars, a sharp rise from a meager 543 dollars in 2005, while growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) hovers over seven percent. The electricity generation increased to 15,000 megawatt in 2017 from 5,245 megawatt in 2005, while national literacy rate stood at 63.2 percent and average life expectancy soared t0 71.63 years.

“Bangladesh has superseded Pakistan in all fronts,” said Tofail Ahmed, adding that Bangabandhu started with an empty hand in 1972.

The minister encouraged the business people to continue their endeavors to bring fortunes for their families, workers and the country together.

The government of India has imposed anti-dumping duty on jute products imported from Bangladesh and Nepal, ranging from 8 to 350 US dollars per ton on January 5. India’s finance ministry alleged that imported jute goods were suppressing domestic prices.

The targeted jute products include jute yarn, sacking bags, twine and hessian fabric. Bangladesh jute goods marked 133.8 per cent export rise in India in 2015-16 financial year.

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