THERE are bottlenecks faced by our exporters in the areas of finance, costs of energy and utilities, infrastructures and government's incentives. Exporters have been bearing with the situation . But they certainly are in need of more helpful government policies to be able to increase export activities.
The first major requirement is pushing down by several percentage points from the present ones, the interest on bank loans taken for export operations. The exporters are demanding a cut in the interest rate by some four or five per cent.
Reduction in port charges have been similarly demanded and there are also the proposals for cuts in charges for the consumption of energy and utilities. The meeting of these demands in large measures will mean temporary sacrifice of revenues and profits for the government and the banks respectively. But this will be a small sacrifice compared to what adverse effects they would face if businesses suffer from their inability to take appropriate action in time.
The exporters have also asked for more cash incentives to the export sector and quick disbursement of the same. Corruption was noted in the previous distribution of such incentive money. Nonetheless, the government should not withdraw itself in reaction to this proposal because it can create considerable stimulus for export activities. However, the incentives programme will have to be administered carefully to save it from being wasted due to corruption.
Then, there are also cumbersome customs procedures which can be simplified to speed up export activities. Exporters face other forms of governmental bureaucracies and special effort must be made to reduce them to the essential minimum. Port operations will have to be made also more efficient for quicker dispatch of export cargoes.
Bangladeshi missions round the world should have a much more positive attitude . Every possibility or market opportunities for our export products in different countries should be fast explored by the commercial wings of the missions and the information disseminated quickly to exporters.
In sum, there has to be a sense of all-out scouring for export markets to substantially increase earnings from exports.
Azimpur Staff Quarter, Dhaka