Wrong policies contribute to destruction of jute sector: People's Commission
People's Commission on Jute and Jute Industry yesterday demanded trial of those involved in corruption saying that wrong policies and irregularities have contributed to the destruction of jute sector in the country.
The government should form a commission to investigate irregularities by the chief executives of the successive governments, jute ministry, officials involved in management of industries and leaders of the central bargaining agencies (CBAs), said the People's Commission at the launch of its report at Dhaka Reporters Unity.
The 11-member Commission was formed on June 1 of last year to identify the persons responsible for the crisis in jute sector, assess the losses and make recommendations for the development of the jute industry.
Justice Mohammad Golam Rabbani was the chairman and Shah Alam, a jute expert, was the secretary of the Commission.
Its members included engineer Sheikh Muhammad Shahidullah, Dr Quazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Nur Mohammad, Shahidullah Chowdhury, Morshed Ali, Mamunur Rashid, Selina Hossain, Professors Dr Abul Barakat, Anu Muhammad, MM Akash, Dr Shamsul Alam and journalist Nurul Kabir.
"The total loss in jute sector would be over Tk 150000 crore from 1982-83 to 2005-06," said Alam, adding that Bangladesh can earn this amount if the authorities patronise jute cultivation and industry creating huge employment and earning enormous foreign exchange.
Alam said members of the proposed probe commission should be selected under a transparent process.
Apart from traditional ways of investigation, the commission will collect complaints by publishing notices, and the trial should be conducted in a special court within the fastest possible time, he said.
Alam said the People's Commission has found the chief executives of the governments, executives of jute ministry, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, chairmen and directors of state-owned Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), general managers and managers, trade union leaders and the managers of the privatised jute mills responsible for the destruction of jute sector.
Alam said the government should also nationalise all privatised jute mills, provide autonomy to the mills in selling and buying raw jute and exporting jute products and bring all the agencies related to jute under the jute ministry.
The government should also conduct modern researches on jute, diversify jute products, ensure timely supply of raw jute and power in the mills and appropriate wages to the workers, he added.
The middlemen system in selling and buying jute should be scrapped, he said, adding that the use of any artificial fiber harmful to jute industry should be banned.