Senior garment officials in Bangladesh today issued an urgent appreal to the government to lift its shock ban on yarn imports through land routes from India.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) are vehemently opposed to the ban, which was introduced as part of a crackdown on smuggling.

During a joint press conference yesterday, both groups argued the ban would hit the garment manufacturing sector - especially the country's knitwear industry - due to higher cost and longer delivery times.

A BGMEA spokesman told Worldsources Inc: "We are importing the yarn through special arrangement which require us to produce proper import documents to the garments buyers abroad to get the facility of Generalised System of Preference (GSP)."

BKMEA president Monjurul Haq added that the ban could have a serious impact on the long-term future of the nation's knitwear sector.

However, the ban has been welcomed by the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) which had called on the government to take strong action to protect the domestic yarn industry.