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Nepal’s jute exports to India hit Rs1.66 billion

  • Golden thread
- Binod Bhandari, BIRATNAGAR

Dec 16, 2018-

Nepal exported jute and jute-made products worth more than Rs1.66 billion to India in first four months of the current fiscal year, a healthy rise despite the anti-dumping duty—a protectionist tariff, imposed by India to protect its home market.

The increase in export of Nepali jute products is also expected to narrow the ballooning trade deficit with India to some extent. 

According to Morang Merchant Association and Morang Industry Association that issues the certificate of origin to Nepali jute, Nepali factories have been importing raw jute from India and Bangladesh and exporting 95 percent of the finished goods.

Out of 11 jute factories, only six are currently in operation. They are producing thread, twine, hessian and sacking clothes.

Arihant Multi Fibres, a manufacturing company with the largest and modern jute mills in Nepal, alone exported readymade jute products worth Rs790.11 million, according to the associations’ statistics.

Raghupati Jute and Swastik jute mills exported jute products worth Rs470 million and Rs220 million respectively. Similarly, export of Baba Jute Mills amounted to Rs110 million, Nepal Jute Industry Rs40 million and Chandra Shiva Jute Mills Rs10 million. 

Raj Kumar Golchha, chairman of Jute Industry Association, said that Nepal’s jute industry has been exporting readymade jute products of around Rs5 billion annually. He said that the anti-dumping duty imposed by India has been creating problems in export and even the government’s less than favourable policy was holding back the industry. “The export of jute products could increase significantly if the government introduces an export subsidy and makes an effort to waive the anti-dumping duty imposed by the southern neighbour,” he said. 

There has been many discussions held regarding the export subsidy scheme, he said. 

Nepali jute factories have been importing 70 percent of raw jute from India and Bangladesh and exporting 95 percent of manufactured goods from jute to India. 

India has imposed anti-dumping duty ranging from $6.30 to $351.72 per tonne on the import of jute and jute products from Nepal. India has also been imposing countervailing duties on its jute products.

India implemented countervailing duties of 12.5 percent from July 2015. Similarly, it has been fixing the international price of raw jute and readymade goods made from jute. There are six jute mills currently in operation and they require 35,000 tonnes of raw jute annually. However, the domestic market fulfills only 30 percent of the demand. Jute expert Mohan Chandra Ghimire said that 65 percent of raw jute is being imported from India and Bangladesh. 

Ghimire said that Nepal used to export raw jute to India two decades ago. 

Three decades ago, the country used to be a major exporter of jute to Europe, and the golden fibre was one of the major sources of foreign exchange. At that time, Nepal used to produce 150,000 tonnes of jute annually. Production has now plunged to 17,000 tonnes. Currently, 15,000 people are employed by jute industry.

Published: 16-12-2018 09:10

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