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Finance Minister gung-ho on jute sector
13
Jun '11
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, in his budget speech, revealed that the Government has already resolved to take-over all the liabilities and obligations of the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), which comes to around Tk 23.96 billion.

Mr. Muhith further revealed that the BJMC has taken up a business plan aimed at revival of the jute industry and that the Government has decided to transform BJMC into a holding company.

The Government had earlier proposed to provide Tk 11.7 billion to help the state-run jute mills to overcome losses and make the sector more rewarding. Of the proposed sum of Tk 11.7 billion, Tk 2 billion have been allocated to help BJMC to procure raw jute and Tk 5 billion to support its refinancing.

Besides, another Tk 1.05 billion have been allocated to restart production activities at Kawmi Jute Mill and People's Jute Mill which were closed down earlier. The mills would be restarted under Public Private Partnership mode under a new name.

The remaining balance of Tk 3.6483 would be utilized to clear the dues of jute, power, gas, wages, jute storage, and towards providing financial assistance to retired employees. BJMC presently operates 20 mills, four of which have been newly opened over the last two years.

The Minister stated that the Government has decided to clear all the outstanding dues of the Corporation of up to June 2010, as it is quite enthused by the popularity that the jute goods have gained on home front as well as abroad.

The Government's move of passing a law making jute packaging mandatory for goods like cement, sugar, fertilizer and grains, has greatly raised the prospects of jute products in the country.

The law has already become effective with the Ministry of Textiles and Jute directing the public sector agencies to make use of jute for packing foods, seeds and fertilizers, in place of polythene bags.

During July-April in the current fiscal year, the jute industry generated revenues worth US$ 924 million, which is reflective of a year-on-year rise of 42 percent.

The Minister hoped that BJMC would be able to shed its past losses and turn into a profit-making organization, regaining its lost glory.

Further, while talking about successful decoding of jute genome, he said that “the important discovery has unlocked a new opportunity for carrying out further experiments on new jute varieties that will be yielding high productivity, will be salinity-resistant, and will be even able to withstand insects, drought and diseases.”

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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