New policy boosts for frozen fish exporters

New policy boosts for frozen fish exporters
Monira Munni

The government has embarked on a major policy boosts for the frozen fish exporters, scrapping weight-based cash incentive system that encouraged dumping and extending the moratorium on term loan repayment.

A meeting led by Prime Minister’s economic advisor Dr. Mashiur Rahman took the decision Tuesday in an effort to make the country one of the top global exporters of shrimp and white fish.

Officials said under the new decision to be effective from July 1, the exporters would no longer get cash incentive based on the quantity of the frozen fish they export every year.

An exporter used to get $3.79 for per pound of shrimp and $ 1.10 for per pound of white and other fish. But now the exporters will get the cash support on the actual rate of invoice value from the next financial year.

Exporters said the latest government sops would spur the country’s annual frozen fish export to one billion dollars a year from $445.18 million in the 2009-10 financial year.

“The new invoice-based cash incentive would encourage local exporters to seek maximum value of their products. It will cut low-value export and dumping,” Kazi Shahnewaz, president of BFFEA, told the FE.

Fisheries and Livestock Secretary Ujjwal Bikash Dutta and representatives from Finance Division, Banking and Financial Institutions, Bangladesh Bank, Export Promotion Bureau and leaders from Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association (BFFEA) were present during the meeting.

The decision comes after the government formed a committee headed by Dr. Rahman to help the frozen fish exporters find a foothold in the global market and face the aftermath of the world’s one of the worst recessions.

Shahnewaz who was present in the crucial meeting said the committee also decided to extend moratorium on the 30 per cent of the exporters’ term loan for 15 months starting from April this year.

“The decision will largely help us overcome the recent liquidity crisis,” the BFFEA president said.

The frozen fish exporters have been hit hard by the global recession which saw their annual shipment clock negative growth last year — for the first time since 2001-2002 fiscal year.

The sector has been suffering from credit crunch since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008. The BFFEA has sought a special government allocation of 4.50 billion taka to ride out the slump.


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