State-owned jute mills to be shut for restructuring: Minister

Dhaka, June 29 – State-owned Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) will be halting operations to stop piling up losses, said Textiles and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi on Sunday. The minister came up with the remarks while attending an online meeting over BJMC and said: “Later, it will be modernized according to the demand in the local and international market.”
Around Tk 5,000 crore 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 percent of gratuity will be paid to the present workforce numbering 24,886.
“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.
In the private sector monthly wage was Tk 2700 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 percent, 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 an anti-dumping tax on importing Bangladeshi jute products for selling them in lower price which also enforced negative impact on overall exports.”
Currently, the government has been paying huge subsidy as BJMC contributes only 8.21 percent in production and 4.45 percent 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.” – UNB