With huge employment opportunities country’s jute sector will be revamped and modernized with sophisticated machineries in order to compete in the global market.
According to the concerned ministry official, once the renovation of these jute mills under public-private partnership is completed, it will create three times more employment opportunities.
On condition of anonymity, the official further said, “In the new set up the existing workers who retire voluntarily will get jobs on priority basis in the mills to be modernized and reopened. The government sincerely wants to keep its experienced hands in the jute sector.”
In the wake of massive corruption, mismanagement and irregularities shutting down production of 25 state-run jute mills by the government is a time befitting decision to renovate the sector, experts said.
The government is working to bring back the golden glory of jute as for its versatile uses it can contribute and can be an economic growth driver again for the country.
As the leading countries of the world putting emphasis on ‘green’ solutions in the wake of global awareness by imposing restrictions on plastic, jute has a very bright prospect for its biodegradable and environment-friendly uses.
It is to be noted, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has a special focus on the country's jute sector. Prime Minister's vision is to develop the jute sector as well as its workers. She paid special attention to the versatile use of jute.
Hence the Prime Minister has earlier funded the research sector to unravel the genome sequencing of jute.
Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) Chairman Md Abdur Rauf told Bangladesh Post that, “As per Prime Minister’s directives we are continuously working to develop the jute sector. Now we are heading towards automation of the jute sector which will undoubtedly create more employment and production.”
“As per directives we are also taking steps to train up the existing workers so that they are able to work in a new environment with modern machineries. But now we are working to pay their dues,” he added.
Earlier, Textiles and Jute Secretary, Lokman Hossain Mia said, “The demand for jute and jute-made goods is growing abroad, especially in Europe and other western countries as people have become much more aware of using natural fiber.”
“We are producing newer jute products with different dimensions, besides taking steps to make effective branding of local jute products in the international market,” he added.
President of Bangladesh Jute Diversified Products Manufacturers and Exporters Association Rashedul Karim Munna said that the potential of jute is endless due to the production of multiple products.
“Even if it can capture 10 percent of the potential international market, it is possible to earn Tk 50,000 crore a year from exporting jute products alone,” he added.
“Making billions of dollars a year from the jute industry next year is not a dream at all,” he said adding, “For this, we have to set up modern technology-based factories.”
It was learned that the government has decided to stop the production of 25 stated-owned jute mile under BJMC after paying 100 percent dues, including wages, provident funds, and gratuities to nearly 25,000 workers with a view to modernizing the mills which are being run with 70-80 year-old machineries to enable those in coping with the national and international demands of jute products.
According to the ministry information, at present 95 percent of the jute and jute products produced in the country are produced in private jute mills. The public sector has become extremely squeezed, which has not been able to compete. Therefore, in order to reform and modernize the jute mills in the public sector, it has been decided to pay the full dues of the workers.
These jute mills have now been declared closed considering how to bring them back into the competition and how to strengthen them. If these jute mills are closed, the amount of damage is more than when it is on, showed the ministry calculation.