The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) has prepared draft proposals for the 2009-12 export policy with several new recommendations to expedite exports.
The present 2006-09 export policy will expire in June. The draft paper includes 156 proposals from business houses, chambers and trade bodies, and government offices.
It recommended to the government to offer cash incentives for the export of some items, including plastic products, decoration items, environment-friendly herbal products, buttons made from coconut crust, coir products, toys and products made from bamboo and cane.
Presently, these agro-based products do not enjoy such cash incentives, it added.
Recommendations include formation of a number of industrial parks across the country, shifting outdated industries outside the metropolitan cities, developing a six-lane Dhaka-Chittagong express highway and delivering cash incentives within 30 days of export.
To facilitate the software and IT related services sector, the draft proposal recommended to the government to provide high-speed internet connections across the country and rent out the internet infrastructure of Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd to the private sector.
It also suggested publication of an export policy in the form of a gazette, so that the government bodies concerned have an easy access to information.
EPB sent the draft paper to the Ministry of Commerce, which is now working to finalise the three-year policy paper. It will come into effect following the cabinet’s approval.
Sources said authorities are still chalking out the details for the new export policy and it will not be finalised till June 2009. Until then, the present export policy will be effective.
However, drafting of the new export policy paper has turned into routine work and recommendations of such policy papers largely remain unrealised.
There have been several credit worthy recommendations in previous export policies, but most remain in writing only, said an official concerned.
In the present export policy, agro and agro-processing products, light engineering products, leather and leather goods, pharmaceutical products, software and ICT products, and home textile were declared top priority sectors.
But the sector people said they did not receive any special facility.
“Being under coverage of such priority, we are supposed to receive facilities, such as easy access to loans, preference in power and other utility services, and government assistance to find new export markets. But we were not given such services,” said Abdur Razzaque, president of Bangladesh Engineering Shilpa Malik Samity.
Source: The Daily Star, 15 May 2009