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BTMA against SKS proposal to set up cotton trading hub

Says the initiative could create monopoly in trade

Jasim Uddin

A file photo shows sacks of cotton. The Bangladesh Textile Mills Association has opposed Sena Kalyan Sangstha proposal for setting up a cotton trading hub in the country, officials of the National Board of Revenue said. — New Age photo.A file photo shows sacks of cotton. The Bangladesh Textile Mills Association has opposed Sena Kalyan Sangstha proposal for setting up a cotton trading hub in the country, officials of the National Board of Revenue said. — New Age photo.

The Bangladesh Textile Mills Association has expressed its stand against a proposal made by Sena Kalyan Sangstha for setting up a cotton trading hub in the country, officials of the National Board of Revenue said.
The BTMA has informed the revenue board that it is against the move if cotton is imported from any specific country as it will create monopoly in the business, they said.
The BTMA, which members are the only users of cotton in the country, has also objection in the move if they are compelled to buy cotton from the warehouses established under the move by any organisation, they said.
The officials said that the SKS sought policy support from the NBR to establish warehouses with an aim to make Bangladesh a hub of raw cotton trading centre.
According to the proposal, international raw cotton traders will store their products at the warehouses from where local buyers mainly textile millers will be able to buy cotton easily and quickly.
The proposal said that buying cotton from such hub would also reduce cost and time of import of cotton from the international market.
Many countries like China, Turkey and Malaysia have allowed setting up such hub to facilitate the industry in their respective countries, it said.
The commerce ministry has also agreed with the proposal saying that the move will facilitate local millers as they will be able to buy cotton within shortest possible time.
Textile millers used to face problems in buying cotton from international market because of some regular complications including fluctuation of price and imposition of ban on cotton export by producing countries while cotton import from global market is also time consuming.
In this context, the commerce ministry also sought opinion from the revenue board.
The NBR officials said that they were scrutinising the proposal and opinion got from the stakeholders including the BTMA.
Top NBR officials will finalise its decision soon in this regard, they said.
BTMA president Jahangir Alamin on Wednesday told New Age that they were not agree with the proposal if the cotton was imported from any specific country.
The millers will not agree with the move if cotton buying from the warehouses is made mandatory for the millers, he said.
‘Such conditions may create monopoly in cotton supply that will ultimately cause problems for the millers,’ Alamin said.
He said, ‘Currently importers enjoy duty-free facility in import of cotton. So we have to know the necessity of the move first and then details of the proposal before confirmation of our decision.’
He, however, said the SKS had yet to share the details of the initiative or discuss with the BTMA about the move.
Currently, Bangladesh produces only 1.2 lakh bales of cotton a year while it imports more than 39 lakh bales of cotton annually from different countries such as the USA, India, Pakistan, Australia, Uzbekistan and other CIS countries.
The government is also negotiating with India and Uzbekistan for getting supply of specific quantity of cotton every year.




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