The mills have a daily target of churning out 272 tons of products
The nine state-owned jute mills in Khulna have been suffering from an insufficient supply of raw jute owing to financial constraints, which has heavily affected the daily production.
These mills have a daily target of churning out 272 tons of products -- mainly sack, hessian, carpet backing cloth and yarn, said Md Boniz Uddin Miah, Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation’s (BJMC) liaison officer for Khulna.
But they are managing to produce only 80 tons of products, meaning 35 percent of the target, he added.
The daily production target for Carpeting Jute Mills is 7.68 tons, 70.50 tons for Crescent Jute Mills , 10.11 tons for Daulatpur Jute Mills , 16.34 tons for Eastern Jute Mills , 22.20 tons for Jessore Jute Industries, 47.5 tons for Khalispur Jute Mills, 50.54 tons for Platinum Jute Mills, 36.80 tons for Star Jute Mills, and 10.50 tons for Alim Jute Mills, according to Boniz Uddin.
The mills have been incurring losses day after day as the lack of raw materials has caused a slump in production, said the mill authorities, when this correspondent spoke with them.
Golam Rabbani, project head of Platinum Jute Mills said they had some raw jute stock with which they could continue production for only one week. "If we cannot buy raw materials, the workers will not be able to work."
Mizanur Rahman, a worker of Platinum Jute Mills, said lack of raw jute could hamper production heavily.
Md Murad Hossain, general secretary of Crescent Jute Mills’ collective bargaining agent, said the delay and financial crisis in purchasing raw jute has been forcing factories to incur more losses.
“This subsequently increases the production cost and hampers smooth running of the mills,’’ he added.
Adding to the mix, the jute mills remained closed for one month due to the coronavirus crisis. After getting government approval, the mills have gone into production recently. But the lack of quality raw jute, due to a transportation crisis brought on by the pandemic, are also hampering the production of quality goods, said mill related sources.
"We could not stock up on quality raw jute as the mills remained shut to stem coronavirus transmission. But, we are trying to purchase jute so that production can continue smoothly," said Roiz Uddin Ahemed, project head of Star Jute Mills.