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Govt allocates Tk169.14 crore to pay arrears of jute mill workers

  • Published at 01:35 pm May 27th, 2019
Jute mill workers
File Photo: Jute mill workers, wielding wooden and bamboo sticks, protest blocking a road in Demra, Dhaka Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The sum will be paid into the bank accounts of more than 30,000 workers by May 30

After months of protests and work abstention at 25 jute mills, the government has allocated Tk169.14 crore to pay outstanding salaries and  Eid bonuses to mill workers.The sum will be paid into the bank accounts of more than 30,000 workers by May 30, authorities from Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) confirmed. 

BJMC Chairman Shah Mohammad Nasim said the Finance Division in a letter yesterday, stated that it made the allocation as an operating loan, which is to be paid back at a 5% interest rate in two annual installments, over the next 20 years. 

A bank operating loan (also called a line of credit) is a short-term, flexible loan that a business can use as needed to borrow up to a pre-set amount of money.

Bank operating loans are convenient to bridge the gap between when account payables are settled and account receivables are collected. 

Nasim said the government today can also allocate money needed to pay outstanding salaries and Eid bonuses of  jute mill officials.

The BJMC official went on to say that workers and officers are going to be paid  in line with their 2010 pay structure.

Paying them in compliance with the National Wage and Productivity Commission-2015 is not currently possible as more discussions are needed at the policymaking level for implementation, he maintained.

The BJMC recently submitted a list of workers and their bank account details to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to expedite payment of dues to workers who have been demonstrating for the past two weeks.

BJMC Secretary AKM Tareque told Dhaka Tribune that they had sought Tk337 crore from the government to clear the arrears and wages of mill workers and employees until June this year. 

State Minister for Labour and Employment, Monnujan Sufian, also told Dhaka Tribune that all workers will get their dues, salaries and festival bonuses before the Eid-ul-Fitr vacation begins.

Worker wages have been due for the past 11 weeks, while salaries of other employees are four months overdue. 

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