Since then, no other factory of BJMC has reopened which means jute industry in Bangladesh officially ended on 1 July, 2020.
But there were more to it. Although the factories are closed, 2517 officers and employees have been drawing salary sitting idly. In the financial year 2021-22, they have been paid more than Tk. 1.40 billion from the government exchequer only as salary.
The government need to recognise that this expenditure is essentially wastage and ethically unacceptable. Demands are increasing in the global market for jute products such as sacks, various types of bag, parts, shoe, doll, mat, carpet, shika, door mat, yarn, lampshade, hat, key ring, wallet, calendar, blanket, and different household products including fibre plus made of jute and plastic. Yet we have been seeing waste of such large number of manpower for years.
We need to overcome this situation soon. Ensuring proper utilisation of manpower has become very important. However, the ministry of textiles and jute has said that they have been thinking of integrating BJMC officials. Although the matter is underway, the speed of that process is very slow. Because, officials say, there will be a law from the Ministry of Public Administration for integration. Next process will begin after that.
Notably BJMC is making losses even after closing factories and laying off workers. BJMC's loss in the last financial year was more than Tk 2.6 billion. This loss has been incurred from payment of salaries of employees, repair and maintenance of property, energy and electricity, wastage and so on. BJMC had counted a loss of around Tk 3.73 billion in the 2020-21 fiscal.
According to a data published in Prothom Alo, it is clear that there are lapses in jute sector management. BJMC has decided to lease the now closed jute mills, but found no lessee. So far BJMC has leased only six jute mills. Four out of six jute mills have been opened. None of the lessees are involved in jute business.
It’s a matter of concern that the machinery of the closed jute mills is becoming inoperable and the buildings dilapidated. Protecting the property of these factories has become a big challenge. The total land area of BJMC is 1,517 acres. It seems this huge property maybe occupied illegally. Because, we came to know that many lands of the factories have already been encroached.
Everyone knows the remedy which requires goodwill. May the government grow the goodwill.