Finance Minister AMA Muhith has called for closing down Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) at a program attended by officers and members of the Finance Division and Financial Institutions Division under the Finance Ministry.
"I want to revise jute," said Muhith. "But BJMC does not have any role to play here. It should be closed down, " the minister said at the program held on Wednesday.
He continued by saying that if needed, there could a separate cell for jute-related matters in the Jute Ministry.
"The Jute Ministry has become entrapped by BJMC," the minister said. "Every year, they get Tk400-500 crore from the government treasury. Yet they are not satisfied."
He added: "BJMC only needs 50% permanent employees, and yet they have retained 90%. Since jute is a seasonal product, all the work can be done by 50% of the employees throughout the year."
While replying to journalists' questions about the solution to this problem, the finance minister said that BJMC should be closed down permanently.
"We have to move the jute business forward through private-public partnership (PPPs)," he said.
On the other hand, on March 5, at a round-table discussion held jointly by financial reporters from Economic Reporters Forum (ERF) and the Ministry of Textiles and Jute, State Minister for
Textiles and Jute Mirza Azam accused the finance minister of not enlisting jute as a processed agricultural product, even after the prime minister declared it to be so.
"Maybe the finance minister is averse to the idea of jute," commented Mirza Azam.
Muhith declined to say anything regarding Mirza Azam's comment.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com