The units/entrepreneurs supported by National Mission on Bamboo Applications (NMBA) had approached for technology development assistance (TDA) in the form of machinery/equipment for their new or existing ventures. Technically all the units engaged in processing bamboo are viable as they are primarily machine based. Closure of units on account of technical failure has not been brought to our attention. There are situations where units are unable to get proper infrastructure like power and also lack of working capital from banks leading to failure of enterprise. NMBA has been providing support in the form of marketing participation in national and international level exhibitions, promotion of products for overseas markets, providing warehouse/storage facility in Delhi. It is true tat NMBA has very little role to play in backward support as it relates to plantation and propagation of raw bamboo in these areas and this is being addressed by a separate mission under the Ministry of Agriculture with the specific mandate of promotion of bamboo plantations.
The bamboo industry growth is slow for want of quality and quantity of raw material. The bamboo products are well accepted in the Indian market. In the absence of consistency in production/supply of the bamboo products by such units, the market is being slowly established.
The bamboo based products like mat boards are accepted and are used by CPWD and PWDs during the Tsunami Relief work in Andaman and Nicobar, etc. Due to non-availability of raw material, the units are not able to produce the required quantity and quality of mat boards on competitive price with similar products in a time-bound manner. As per the information available from the Ministry of Commerce, there is import of raw bamboo sticks for agarbatti units from Vietnam and China. The basic import duty on bamboo products from Vietnam is 10% (being member of ASEAN country) whereas from China it is 30%.
There is no proposal of the Department of Science & Technology to ban import of raw bamboo sticks.
The Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Shri S.Jaipal Reddy gave this information in reply to a written question in the Lok Sabha today.