Last year, the government shut down production of the mills due to heavy losses
The government has decided to lease out all the 25 state-owned jute mills to the private sector, instead of resumption of their operations under BJMC or any other government wing.
The leasing company may be domestic or foreign, while the policy is yet to be framed, top officials of the Ministry of Textiles and Jute confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.
Lokman Hossain Miah, secretary of the ministry, told Dhaka Tribune on Monday: "It has been decided that the government will not operate these mills anymore."
Mohammad Abul Kalam, additional secretary of the ministry, also said that the operational activities of the jute mills would restart under a new policy.
Md Abdur Rouf, chairman of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), said: "We are going to lease all the jute mills very soon. We will publish an advertisement in the newspapers in this regard. Any domestic and international party can be able to lease it."
On July 2 last year, the government shut down production of 25 state-run jute mills under the BJMC, due to heavy losses, through paying the dues of some 25,000 workers of the mills.
At the time, Principal Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office Dr Ahmad Kaikaus said the mills would be reopened after refurbishment with modern technologies under arrangements like public-private partnership (PPP), government-to-government (G2G), joint venture or lease model.
According to the officials, BJMC incurred losses in 44 years out of 48 years after the 1972-73 fiscal year. The cumulative loss stood at Tk10,674 crore in the 2018-19 fiscal year (since 1972).
The mills included Bangladesh Jute Mills Ltd and UMC Jute Mills Limited in Narsingdi, Jatio Jute Mills Ltd in Sirajganj, Karim Jute Mills Limited and Latif Bawany Jute Mills Limited in Dhaka, Rajshahi Jute Mills Ltd in Rajshahi, Juto Fibre Glass Industries Limited (non-jute) in Narayanganj, Amin Jute Mills Limited, Baghdad-Dhaka Carpet Factory, Galfra Habib Limited (non-jute), Gul Ahmed Jute Mills Limited, Hafiz Jute Mills Limited, KFD Ltd (Karnaphuli Jute Mills Limited and Furat Karnaphuli Carpet Factory), MM Jute Mills Limited, RR Jute Mills Limited, and Mills Furnishing Limited (non-jute) in Chittagong, Aleem Jute Mills Limited, The Crescent Jute Mills Limited, Daulatpur Jute Mills Limited, Eastern Jute Mills Limited, Khalishpur Jute Mills Limited, Platinum Jubilee Jute Mills Limited, and Star Jute Mills Limited in Khulna, Jessore Jute Industries Limited, and Carpeting Jute Mills Limited in Jessore.