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Additional Secy: Govt determined to revive jute sector

  • Published at 06:24 pm July 28th, 2020
jute Products
Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Authorities working to reopen closed mills by modernizing and restructuring the jute production system

The government is determined to revive the jute sector by modernizing state-owned mills, according to Mohammad Abul Kalam, NDC, additional secretary of the Ministry of Textiles and Jute.

The government is working to reopen closed mills of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation on an urgent basis by modernizing and restructuring the jute production system in view of the current market and future prospects of diversified jute products, he said.

After the liquidation, the country's jute mills will be brought back to production as soon as possible through government-controlled public-private partnership (PPP), joint venture GTZ or lease model, said the additional secretary.

He said this at a views exchange meeting with journalists on a permanent solution to state-owned jute mill’s existing situation and implementation of government decisions aimed at reviving the jute sector, in the conference room of the Jute Diversification Promotion Center (JDPC).

The government’s decision was applauded on behalf of the majority of workers, and the civil society. Nevertheless, some people are trying to create confusion among people by spreading false information and their purpose-driven interpretation.

There is no allocation from BJMC to stop the labour movement or to conduct workers' gate meetings as part of the movement, and no money has been spent in this sector. Similarly, BJMC has not spent any money so far for conducting CBA activities, he said.

All the relevant provisions of the Labour Act have been followed in declaring the termination of employment of workers, and closure of jute mills. Proper legal steps have also been taken to determine the amount owed to the workers and to pay it, he added.

As the job of the workers has been terminated from July 1 according to the provisions of the Labour Act, they have no claim or dues after the day except for 60 days’ wages of notice period.

Already wages of 30 days, half of the notice period, have been paid with the money received from the Finance Division.

At the same time, two high-level committees have already been set up to make recommendations on modernization and reactivation of mills in a proper way, and rationalization in the changed situation of BJMC's manpower structure.

On June 28, Textiles and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi said 25 mills under BJMC will be shuttered in the face of staggering losses.

All workers will be released with ‘golden handshakes’.