A platform of sugar mill workers and employees' children yesterday demanded the government turn state-run sugar mills profitable by making planned investment and diversifying sugar products.
Instead of shutting down, it is possible to make mills profitable by modernising them for diversification, and eliminating corruption, Sugar Mills Children's Forum said in a statement.
If mills close, the country will have to rely on imported sugar products, and the market may turn unstable, the forum said.
It demanded modernising mills through apt management and urged authorities concerned to implement diversification through joint investment from home and abroad.
Graft and mismanagement are largely responsible for losses sugar mills incurred. However, thousands of workers and sugar farmers had to bear the brunt, while no effective measure was taken to eliminate graft or enhance skills, it said.
Livelihood of thousands of farmers, and workers and employees of six sugar mills are in peril, due to closure of sugar production during the ongoing season, said the forum, which consists of children of workers and employees from 16 mills.
On December 21 last year, a group of researchers and educationists, referring to a research paper, said mismanagement, corruption and absence of proper planning are responsible for losses incurred by state-owned jute and sugar mills, and workers in no way can be blamed.
Prof Mohammad Tanjimuddin Khan and Prof Moshahida Sultana of Dhaka University and researcher Maha Mirza revealed the research findings during a programme at Dhaka Reporters Unity.
The report was prepared following field visits to different jute mills in Khulna and sugar mills in northern districts.