Privatisation of the country’s jute sector is likely to begin from the first month of the imminent New Year 2022 through inking lease agreement of five state owned jute mills with five private companies.
Traders, farmers, and other stakeholders are expecting that through initiating privatization, the country’s jute sector will get back its lost glory soon, jute ministry insiders say.
The companies selected for lease agreement are Unitex Group, Saad Musa Group, MIMU Jute Mill, Bay Group and Jute Republic of UK. They are taking lease of Hafiz Jute Mills and KFD Jute Mills in Chattogram Region, Bangladesh Jute Mills and National Jute Mills in Dhaka Region and Crescent Jute Mills in Khulna Region.
Under the terms of the lease, the institutions will not be able to mortgage the property of the jute mill for bank loans. The lease agreement will be for a period of five to 20 years. Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) has finalized five private companies to lease five state-owned jute mills.
Besides this, Saudi Arabia has shown its interest to invest in the jute sector. Saudi Arabia Ambassador to Bangladesh Issa bin Youssef Al-Duhailan said, “Saudi Arabia is interested in expanding and developing trade and commerce in the textile and jute sectors of Bangladesh.”
On the other hand, after a long time, due to the increase in the price of jute, the farmers have also shown their increased to increase jute cultivation.
Meanwhile, even though the state-owned jute mills are closed, jute cultivation has not stopped. Jute export statistic is also showing positive trend. In the last financial year, the income jute and jute products was USD 1116 million.
Md Rashedul Karim Munna, managing director of Creation Private Limited, a jute goods manufacturer, while talking to Bangladesh Post said, “The government seems to be sincere in developing the jute mills. We are hopeful that soon we will be able to see some visible progress. However, the government should impose some criteria that those jute mills should develop such products that are dominating the export market.”
Not only this, jute scientists are working on the research of jute cultivation in the same land at least twice a year.
Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) Chief Scientific Officer of Farm Management AKM Shahadat Hossain informed that research is continuing for jute cultivation from February to April and from May to July in the same land.
Besides they are also trying to innovate such ways so that three tonnes of jute can be cultivated per hectare of land.
It is learned that the government announced the closure of 25 state owned jute mills which have been counting losses for years. As a result, about 25,000 workers lost their jobs.
Subsequently, the government decided to privatize the mills as per the 2018 Bangladesh Industrial Establishment Nationalization Act.
In April, BJMC called for international tenders to release government jute to the private sector.