DHAKA: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said all dues of the jute mill workers will be paid and the closed mills will be modernized before reopening.
She made the remarks while delivering her speech in concluding session of the Jatiya Sangsad on Thursday (July 9). The session was presided by Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury.
The premier said: “Some 25,000 workers of the state-run jute mills were being paid wages by the government for the last year. Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) could not pay it.”
“These jute mills were established in 50s and 60s. It is not possible make them profitable anymore, However, jute has great potential in the world market. We have successfully decoded the crucial genome sequence of jute. So it has great potential as an alternative to polythene,” she said.
“We must modernize and update our mills to take advantage of the opportunity. We will reform our mills and also train our workers. We will pay the workers their Tk 5,000 crore of due wages. However, wages will be paid half in cash, half in savings certificates. It is for their benefits,” the prime minister added.
Earlier on July 2, the government shut down all the state-run jute mills in the country due to recurring losses and low productivity.
However, the government declared to pay around Tk5,000 crore dues of the workers of 25 mills registered under Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC).
The decision to close the BJMC mills was taken during a meeting in Ganabhaban between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and official concerned with the matter.
Later, Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, principal secretary to the prime minister, in a press briefing said the mills have been shut down for renovation works and remodeling.
Earlier on June 28, the government decided to send 24,886 employees of state-owned jute mills into early retirement through ‘golden handshake’ scheme.
BDST: 1810 HRS, JULY 9, 2020