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EPB proposes incentives for shrimp export

Published : 06 Jul 2021 09:35 PM | Updated : 06 Jul 2021 11:49 PM

As the export of frozen shrimps and other fishes is showing a downward trend, the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) has suggested increasing cash incentives for their export to help boost their production and export. 

"We've sent the recommendation to the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) recently as per its instructions," said an EPB official. 

The official said the EPB proposed that the rates of cash incentives should be 20 per cent and 15 per cent for exports of ready-to-eat and frozen shrimp. It also proposed providing 15-10 percent cash incentives for the export of live crab, eel and other fishes.

According to the EPB, the frozen fish industry currently gets 7-10 per cent cash incentives for shrimp exports and 2.0-5.0 per cent on other fish exports.

In its proposal, the EPB expressed the opinion that both the production and export of fish items will go up if the rates of cash incentives for frozen shrimp and all other fishes, including live fish, live crab and eel are increased like other agriculture export products.

According to the export data of the EPB, the export of frozen shrimps, the major fish export item, fell by 6.04 percent to US$289.24 million in July-May period of fiscal year 2020-21 (FY21) against US$307.84 million of the corresponding period of FY20. Export of crabs maintained a downward trend during July-May period of FY21 as the country exported crabs worth US$11.83 million which was US$22.90 million during the corresponding period of FY20.      

During the July-April period of FY21, export of shrimps dropped by 11.92 percent to US$261.63 million from US$297.02 million of the same period of FY20. Crab worth US$10.91 million was exported during the July-April period of FY21 which was USD22.35 million during the same period of FY20.     

According to the Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters’ Association (BFFEA), the total production capacity of frozen food is 0.4 million tonnes, but they can utilise only 30,000-tonne capacity currently due to the higher overhead cost, shortage of raw materials and other reasons.

BFFEA leaders said the frozen food sector is one of the major sectors hit hard severely by the Covid-19 pandemic. As the demand for frozen food items, especially frozen shrimps, has declined globally, prices of products, have also reduced, they said.