Export of Nepali jute items to India resumes

Kathmandu, February 1

The export of jute products from Nepal to India, which was halted for more than a month, has resumed after the Indian Customs Office agreed to release the consignments of Nepali jute traders to the Indian market keeping the 12.5 per cent countervailing duty (CVD) as a guarantee.

The Indian government had imposed 12.5 per cent CVD on Nepali jute products like jute sacks and hessian jute fabric from December 15, thereby completely halting export of jute products to India. India is Nepal’s largest jute importer. According to traders, more than 90 per cent of jute products manufactured in Nepal is exported to India.

“Export of jute products, including jute sacks and hessian jute fabric, has resumed to India. However, we have to keep a guarantee worth the imposed CVD for our goods, which is refundable,” said Raj Kumar Golchha, president of Nepal Jute Industries Association, adding that the fund will be refunded once the Indian government revisits its decision on imposing CVD on Nepali jute products.

Golchha further said that the Indian government is likely to scrap the countervailing duty being imposed on Nepali jute products very soon.

Similarly, Rabi Shankar Sainju, joint secretary of Ministry of Commerce (MoC), said that the Indian government is positive towards Nepal’s request to scrap CVD on Nepali jute products. “We are optimistic that the Indian government will soon give duty-free access to Nepali jute products in the Indian market,” Sainju said.

As per traders, almost 200 tonnes of jute products are manufactured in the country every day and only 10 per cent is consumed in the domestic market. Similarly, domestic traders import more than 70 per cent of raw materials for the jute industry from India itself and exports only finished products. Currently, four jute factories are operating in the country and traders claim that these factories employ more than 1,000 workers.