The government has allocated Tk 1.0 billion in loan for the state-run jute mills to pay wages and arrears to the employees who have long been going through financial hardship because of non-payment of wages, officials said.
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) made the allocation on October 09.
The tenure of repayment of the non-development loan is 20 years, including a grace period of five years.
The loan has to be repaid in installments after every six months with a 5.0 per cent interest rate, according to an official document of the ministry.
The state-owned Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), which operates the state-run jute mills, will sign a loan agreement with the Finance Division soon.
The non-development loans are usually used only to pay wages and allowances for the employees of the state-run jute mills.
"Earlier, the BJMC wrote to the jute and textile ministry, seeking funds for the purpose. A letter was also sent to the finance ministry," a senior BJMC official told the FE.
"The jute mills under the BJMC are limping due to lack of necessary funds. The employees of the mills are also facing financial crunch," he added.
At present, the BJMC is the biggest employer in the industrial sector of the country.
Presently, there are 26 jute mills under BJMC.
According to official data, the BJMC-run jute mills incurred a loss of Tk 4.82 billion in fiscal year 2016-17 and a loss of Tk 6.57 billion in the previous fiscal.
It provides direct employment to about 70,000 workers and 5,500 officers and staffers supporting the livelihood of around 6.0 million farm families.
Official data showed more than 50 million people are directly or indirectly involved in jute industry.
In July 2013, the government directed the BJMC to provide its workers with a 20 per cent dearness allowance from its own funds. A condition was also attached that the BJMC would not seek funds from the government for the purpose.
BJMC sources said 90 per cent workers in the industry are permanent staff members.
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