News and Update: Closing down of jute mills at donors’ diktat to be disastrous

NewAge, September 18, 2007

The Mass Commission on Jute and Jute Industry on Monday urged the interim government not to lease out eight public sector jute mills in order to protect the interest of workers and jute growers.

The commission, formed recently as a citizens’ body to campaign for the revitalisation of the jute industry, demanded that the government refrain from leasing out the jute mills to the private sector after closing down four mills. ‘Such a move will hammer the final nail into the coffin of the country’s jute industry,’ said the commission in a statement issued by Muhammad Golam Rabbani, its chairman, and Shah Alam, its secretary.

They expressed concern at the government’s disregard for the opinions of eminent citizens on the importance of the jute sector as well as its own plan to form a commission to solve the problems of the industry. The commission also called upon the interim government not to close down jute mills in accordance with the ill-motivated prescriptions of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

The commission’s leaders mentioned that the jute sector was also in a crisis since the number of jute mills came down to only 18 from 78 in the post-independence period, and in the private sector only 3,100 looms remain operative out of 11,000.

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