State jute mills to be shut due to increasing forfeiture: Jute minister

Two workers work at a jute mill
Two workers work at a jute millUNB
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State owned Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) will be halting operations to stop piling up losses, UNB quoted textiles and jute minister Golam Dastagir Gazi as saying on Sunday.

The minister came up with the remarks while attending an online meeting over BJMC and said “Later, it will be modernised according to the demand in local and international market.”

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Around Tk 50 billion will be provided from the government budget over the matter and all arrears of 8,954 workers who retired since 2014 will be paid, he said, adding that all the overtime dues, PF fund, gratuity and highest 27 per cent of gratuity will be paid to the present workforce numbering 24,886, says the news agency.

“The mills will be initiated to resume in lease model/G2G/joint venture/ PPP under the government control where all terminated will be appointed on priority basis and new employments will be created,” the minister further said.

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In the private sector monthly wage was Tk 2,700 that was raised to Tk 8,300 in BJMC mills after implementing the Production and Wage Commission-2015 which has hiked the per unit production cost by 60 to 63 per cent, the minister said.

The increased production cost disrupted competition in market and fixing rate of jute products by private sectors, he said adding that “India has imposed anti-dumping tax on importing Bangladeshi jute products for selling them in lower price which also enforced negative impact on overall exports.”

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Currently, the government has been paying huge subsidy as BJMC contributes only 8.21 per cent in production and 4.45 per cent in export which goes against economic rules, Gazi said.

The production capacity of the state owned mills has come down to zero as the machines are 60/70 years old, he said, adding that “Besides, old management structure is also not suitable during present modern technology based production system.”

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