Hundreds of workers of nine state-owned jute mills of Khulna industrial belt are yet to withdraw their salaries as ATM (automated teller machine) booths in the area have run out of cash, putting them in a position of anxiety ahead of Eid.
Many workers demonstrated in front of SIBL’s (Social Islami Bank Limited) booths at Khalishpur and Daulatpur area yesterday, for the second day running.
About 20 percent jute workers are yet to withdraw their money, said Murad Hossain, president of Crescent Jute Mill Workers’ Union.
Last Monday, the finance ministry allocated Tk 169.14 crore for wages and bonuses for jute workers. BJMC transferred wages to the respective workers’ accounts, of which Tk 34.29 crore were released as wages and Tk 9.46 crore in bonuses for nine jute mills workers in Khulna.
Workers said they usually receive their wages from the mills in cash, and are not accustomed to using their ATM cards. This time, the BJMC decided to pay the wages and accounts directly from the accounts to ensure that they get the full amount, but it has become a curse in disguise for them, they added.
“On Thursday, very few workers were able to withdraw their wages from ATM booths adjacent to mill gate,” said Mizanur Rahman, a worker of Platinum jute mill.
Thanda Mia and Anowar Hossain, two workers of Star Jute Mill, came to Khalishpur to draw wages after failing to draw money from a Trust Bank booth in front of mill gate.
“I have been trying to use the [ATM] card since Thursday, but could not draw my wages of Tk 30,200,” said Anowar Hossain while he was drawing money from an ATM machine at Dak-Bungalow intersection yesterday noon.
“I had to spend over Tk 100 to travel to a usable ATM, all the while being stressed,” he said, adding that bank authorities should refill the machines when it runs out.
Contacted, Nurul Islam Khan Mithu, operation officer of SIBL said the load capacity of every ATM booth is Tk 25 lakh at once, but in mill areas the demand is in tens of crores.
“Gradually the situation would improve,” he hoped.