Commercial banks are unwilling to provide subsidized rate loan under incentive package to raw jute and tea exporters, exporters blamed.

But bank officials have claimed that the exporters could not provide additional mortgage in support of their fresh loan.

State Minister for Labour and Employment Munnujan Sufian on behalf of raw jute exporters has issued a letter to the Finance Secretary to immediate disburse the loan announced by the government at subsidized rate.

“Some banks are refusing to disburse loan from incentive package to jute exporters who are badly affected by Covid-19 fallout,” Munnujan said.

Besides, Commerce ministry also advocated for allocating fresh loan to tea exporters as tea sectors businessmen are also badly affected by the pandemic.

“The local tea sector badly needs the government announced loan under incentive package as working capital. If banks are not provide necessary fund to tea exporter many of them will not able survive”. a letter, signed by deputy secretary Mohammad Mostafa Haider to finance secretary read.

A total of Tk 5,159.33 crore  was earned by raw jute exporters during the last five years.

“The sector earn cent percent foreign currency by processing and exporting of raw jute. The foreign currency earn mostly neighbouring country through land port of Benapole and Banglabandha,” the letter said adding about 50,000 workers from Khulna, Dhulapur, Narayangani and southern districts are now involving the raw jute packaging and processing and grading industry.

Bangladesh Jute Association Chairman Sheikh Saeed Ali alo agreed with state minister statement. Many businesses have to shut down because of a ban on the export of raw jute since 2017, he said.

Chairman also said now processing of jute goods export remains stalled due to the Covid -19 pandemic.

The consumption of tea declined due to restriction of movement of people in hotels, restaurants, tea shops amid coronavirus pandemic, the commerce ministry letter said.

The prices of tea in the domestic market declined by 47%. The tea traders need working capital with a 4.5 per cent interest. Auction of the tea suspended during the lockdown, the letter said.

The Bangladesh Tea Sangsad sent some recommendations to be implemented by the commerce ministry for improving financial situation. Recommendations include the demand of tea businessmen for a loan from working capital incentives fund from the banks, it said.

The highest amount of Tk 300 billion (Tk 30,000 crore) has been allocated for providing working capital facility to the affected industries and service sector organisations.

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