Export activities of privately produced jute products has started today, said Textile and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi.
"The jute sector has been revived with the resumption of export of jute products produced by KFD Jute Mills Ltd in Chittagong and as the production activities of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) started under private management, new employment opportunities have been created in these mills," he said.
The minister said this while inspecting the production activities of KFD Jute Mills Ltd. in Chittagong, reports BSS citing a press release.
Member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Textiles and Jute Ministry Md. Nazrul Islam Chowdhury, Textile and Jute Secretary Md. Abdur Rauf and others concerned were present during the visit.
The KFD Jute Mill is currently producing in an average of 10 tonnes of jute goods daily by 600 workers and Unitex Jute Industries Ltd have so far exported 130 tons of jute products in Vietnam, Tunisia and China while about 600 tons of jute goods are also awaiting for shipment.
Unitex Jute Industries Ltd are going to be launched two more production units through modernisation. As a result, it could be produced in an average of 100 tonnes of products daily by combining conventional and versatile jute products.
"Hopefully, it will create employment opportunities for 3500 people," said the minister.
Bangladesh Jute Mills Limited in Narsingdi has been leased out and already started production under private management, the minister said, adding that the process to lease the Crescent Jute Mills in Khulna and Hafiz Jute Mills in Chattogram is underway.
Secretary of Textiles and Jute Md Abdur Rauf said, "We have issued Expression of Interest (EOI) circulars for 18 jute mills. Only 5 firms have fulfilled all the terms and conditions."
For the remaining 13 jute mills, 53 proposals have been received from 16 national and international firms through the issuance of a second EOI notification, the secretary said.
"The proposals are being scrutinised and we are hoping to lease a few more mills at this stage," he added.
Mohammad Arif, the Chief Financing Officer of Unitex Group, said, "The daily production of this mill was 2-5 tonnes before it was shut down. Currently, it is producing 10 tonnes of jute goods per day. Our target is to increase production capacity to 100 tonnes."
"Separate units will be set up for production of various jute products. Initially, we have invested Tk 5.00 billion and Tk 30.0 billion will be invested in phases. We believe the golden days of jute will return," he added.
State-owned jute mills, which have been mired in losses and debts for decades due to graft, inefficiency, lax of management and monitoring, low productivity and outdated machinery, will be revived under private management, industry stakeholders said.
The government closed 25 state-run jute mills under BJMC in 2020 by paying off dues to some 25,000 workers.