Committed to PEOPLE'S RIGHT TO KNOW
Vol. 5 Num 146 Mon. October 18, 2004  
   
Business


Jute output set to fall 10pc short of target
Speakers observe at DCCI seminar


Speakers at a seminar yesterday apprehended jute production to sustain 10 to 15 percent shortfall than the target set for the current year due to recent devastating flood and incessant rain.

They expressed the view at a seminar on Impact of Flood on Jute Industry organised by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) at its secretariat in Dhaka.

However, some speakers involved in jute trade said the loss would be less than apprehended.

DCCI President Fazle RM Hasan said the prolonged flood followed by the incessant rain would result in production loss of 15 lakh bales from the targeted 45 lakh bales.

In the first ten months of the current year, he said, export earnings from jute goods were to the tune of Tk1196.09 crore, which was Tk 1214.58 crore during the corresponding period of previous year.

Export earnings from raw jute stood at Tk355.57 crore against Tk 378.62 crore of the previous year, he added. "So, we need to find out why earnings from this sector are declining."

The DCCI president said demand of jute and jute products in the international market will be going up with the rise in price of crude oil, a raw material of synthetics.

The DCCI leader also asked the government to form a taskforce incorporating all the stakeholders for development of the jute industry.

DCCI Director Hossain Khaled presented a keynote paper where he estimated agricultural loss from this year's flooding and rain to be in between Tk 30,000 crore and 40,000 crore.

Quoting figures of Bangladesh Jute Association, Khaled said, target of jute production for the current fiscal year was 45 lakh bales, 15 percent less than that of 2003-04 due to low harvest. "But due to flood, jute production is expected to drop further to 10 lakh bales."

Speaking at the seminar, Jute and Textile Minister Shajahan Siraj said like other agricultural products, jute production has also gone down due to the recent natural disasters.

Sirajul Haque Pradhan, a leader of Raw Jute Traders' Association, said the figures of loss and production shortfall may not be absolutely correct. "I have doubt on the disclosed figures."

Picture
Jute and Textile Minister Shajahan Siraj (2nd right) speaks at a seminar on Impact of Flood on Jute Industry organised by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) at its secretariat in Dhaka yesterday. DCCI President Fazle RM Hasan (centre) is also seen.Photo: DCCI