Joypurhat Sugar Mill staff unpaid for 3 months | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 18, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 18, 2015

Joypurhat Sugar Mill staff unpaid for 3 months

Sugar, molasses worth Tk 42crore rotting in store

The salaries of the officials and employees of Joypurhat Sugar Mill have remained unpaid for the last three months as the mill's sugar and molasses produced in last three seasons have remained unsold, causing cash crisis.

Around 1,500 staff of the mill are passing days amid hardship due to the situation.

Around 9,596 tonnes of sugar worth Tk 35.5 crore and 5,045 tonnes of molasses worth Tk 6.5 crore are lying in its store, said official sources.

The items were produced in three production seasons since 2011-12.

Of them, 4,500 tonnes of sugar was produced this season.

The mill staff blamed the import of sugar by the government for the situation.

Early this month, the mill authority started marketing of their stocked sugar in attractive packets, a one-kg packet being priced at Tk 42.

But the initiative failed to attract any significant number of buyers.

The locally produced sugar is brownish and less sweet than the imported sugar that looks while, said Md Barakat Ali, a grocer on Thana Road in Joypurhat town.

Besides, buyers are suspicious of the standard of the sugar that had remained in the store for three years. 

Officials said the sugar mill was established in 1963 on 100 acres of land in Joypurhat town.

But the mill started incurring losses since 1990 and now it has a cumulative loss burden of Tk 200crore, officials said.

Abdus Salam, managing director of Joypurhat Sugar Mill, admitted that payment of the staff has remained suspended for three months.

He declined of make any comment regarding the unsold sugar.

Afzal Hossain Talukdar, president of Joypurhat Sugar Mill Workers Union, said sugarcane growers are reluctant to supply the item to the mill due to non-payment or insufficient payment of their produce while the sugar produced in the mill does not sell well due to its higher price compared to imported sugar.

The mill's production cost per kg of sugar stands at around Tk 100, sources said. 

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