8 jute mills to be leased out | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 12, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 12, 2007

8 jute mills to be leased out

Private entrepreneurs to run those including 4 closed ones

The advisory committee on economic affairs yesterday approved leasing out of eight state-run jute mills, four of them already closed, to the private entrepreneurs for avoiding loss.
People or companies interested to take out leases on the mills, however, will have to comply with certain conditions, including keeping the existing employees at the operational mills and reinstating the skilled workers of the closed mills who were laid off.
The government will float tender for the lease soon.
On July 18, the government closed Peoples' Jute Mills in Khulna, Karnaphuli Jute Mills and Forat-Karnaphuli Carpet Factory in Chittagong and Kaomi Jute Mills in Sirajganj, bringing down the number of mills under the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) to 18.
The operational mills to be leased out are Alim Jute Mills in Khulna, and Baghdad-Dhaka Carpet Factory, RR Jute Mills and MM Jute Mills in Chittagong.
The jute and textile ministry earlier forwarded their resolution of leasing out the eight mills to the advisory committee on economic affairs seeking its approval.
"Initiatives have been taken to run these mills under private entrepreneurship in lease arrangement system," Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam said after the advisory committee meeting at the Secretariat. "Some companies or persons will operate the mills paying rent to the government," he added.
The number of jute mills under the state ownership was 77 until the privatisation started in 1983.
During a deliberation to map out a survival strategy for the jute sector, a meeting in July with Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed in chair decided to shut down the non-profitable mills.
The mills had been closed as part of a three-year reform programme to revive the jute sector, Adviser to the Jute and Textiles Ministry Geeteara Safiya Choudhury had said at the time of closure adding that the BJMC would resume operation at the rest 18 mills from July.
Geeteara then also said that 6,000 workers of the closed mills and another 8,000 from the rest 18 mills would be retrenched and required workforce will be recruited on a daily basis to cut back on labour cost.
At the meeting yesterday, the finance adviser said that leasing out mills would ensure jobs for the skilled workers who had lost their jobs after shutting down of the four mills.
"Those interested to take out lease of the mills now in operation will have to keep those working there at present. And the workers of the closed mills who were acceptable to all will also have priority during recruitment," he said.

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