All the workers of state-owned Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) will get their arrears within November next, assured Textiles and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi on Wednesday.
The minister confirmed it at a press conference at the secretariat over paying the dues of the retired workers and others who lost their jobs.
“To pay the arrears of workers of eight jute mills, we’ve got Tk 1,790.52 crore from the Finance Department so far and the workers are gradually being paid in their bank accounts and through saving certificates,” he said.
The payment process of two more jute mills — Hafiz Jute Mills in Chattogram and Eastern Jute Mill in Khulna — will begin on Oct 25, the minister said.
“Hopefully, all the jute mill workers will be paid all their arrears within the next month,” Gazi said.
The government has formed two bodies for making recommendations to revive the jute industry by modernising and resuming the jute mills operations, he added.
Hopefully, the minister added, the closed jute mills will resume operations with new dimensions where experienced workers would get the chance of employment.
Earlier, the government laid down 25 state-run jute mills under BJMC by providing cent percent dues of some 25,000 workers.
Compensating the workers was stressed as a priority by the government while announcing the closure, with the country’s jute and textiles minister even claiming that a Tk 5,000-crore fund had been set aside expressly for this purpose.
The decision came at a meeting held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at her official residence Ganobhaban on July 2. The mills were closed with immediate effect.
The government’s plan was to bring in private sector players who would oversee the reopening of the chronically loss-making mills as viable commercial entities. But that has not found any takers yet either.