Monday, May 12, 2008

Special allocation sought for silk industry in budget


Special allocation for silk industry in the next national budget was demanded at a function here yesterday.

Silk traders, labourers and development workers at the discussion also sought government assistance for the development of silk industry.

Reshom Shilpa Sartho Sangrakkhan Committee, a body to protect silk industry, and Varendra Unnayan Prochesta, an NGO, jointly organised the discussion.

Bangladesh Silk Industry Owners' Samity (BSIOS) President Manjur Faruk Chowdhury, former president of the association Liaqat Ali, Rajshahi Rakkha Sangram Parishad (a body to uphold the development of Rajshahi) Convener Zamat Khan and marginal farmers spoke at the discussion.

Manjur Faruk Chowdhury said the local silk will be able to compete in the world market if the growers get proper technological support from the government.

He said the country is now producing only 50 tonnes of silk yarn against the domestic demand for 350 tonnes.

He said Bangladesh Sericulture Board is not doing enough to attract farmers in silk cultivation.

Liaqat Ali said the silk industry people are not getting bank loans.

He demanded a separate silk policy.

Khoda Bux, a farmer, said they never get timely payment from Bangladesh Sericulture Board for their produce.

The number of people engaged in silk farming is declining, he added.

Zamat Khan attributed government apathy and lack of supervision to the poor condition of silk industry.

Silk traders and workers at a discussion held here yesterday demanded special allocation in the upcoming budget to save silk industries of Rajshahi region from ruination.

Reshom Shilpa Sartho Sangrakkhan Committee (RSSSC) and Barendra Unnayan Prochesta (BUP) jointly organised the discussion at GDRC auditorium.

Rajshahi Silk Industry and Factory Labourers' Union president Ataur Rahman chaired the discussion while BUP coordinator Rashed Ripon presented the keynote paper.

Bangladesh Silk Industry Owners' Association (BSIOA) president Manjur Faruk Chowdhury, former president Liaqat Ali, Rajshahi Rakkha Sangram Parishad conveynor Jamat Khan and several marginal farmers addressed among others.

The BSIOA president said Rajshahi silk is capable to compete in world market like China if the growers are provided with proper technologies. He revealed the country is now producing only 50 metric tons (MT) of silk yarn much lower than the demand of 350 MT.

He blame Bangladesh Sericulture Board and its research unit for growers' lack in interest in silk cultivation.

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