Sugarcane threshing in six mills was kept suspended for the 2020-2021 season
Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun on Tuesday told Parliament that the government did not take any decision to shut down the state-owned sugar mills, though the threshing of sugarcanes in six mills out of a total 15 has been kept suspended for the current season.
"No sugar mill has been closed down. No decision has been taken to shut down sugar mills," he said replying to a tabled question from Awami League MP Ali Azam (Bhola-2).
The Industries minister said there are 15 sugar mills under the Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC).
Of these, only one mill -- Carew & Co (Bd) Ltd -- is profitable, while 14 others do not make any profit, he said adding that sugarcane threshing in six mills was kept suspended for the 2020-2021 season, he added.
In reply to a separate question from the same MP, the minister said the government is implementing two development projects to modernize the sugar mills in order to save the country's sugar industry.
The two projects are being implemented with GoB fund under BSFIC to modernize the sugar mills and make those environment-friendly entities.
The projects are BMR of Carew & Co (Bd) Ltd (first revised) and Establishment of Effluent Treatment Plants in 14 Sugar Mills, said Nurul Majid.
Responding to another question from ruling party lawmaker M Abdul Latif (Chittagong-11), the Industries Minister said the contribution of the industry (manufacturing) sector to the GDP increased at 24.18% in 2019-20 fiscal year from 17.90% in 2008-09 fiscal year.
The share of large and medium industries to the GDP rose at 20.22% in 2019-20 fiscal year from 12.71% in 2008-09 fiscal year, according to the statistics he placed in the House.
However, the contribution of small industries declined to 3.96% in the last fiscal year from 5.18% in the 2008-09 fiscal year.
Some 103,220 industrial units were set up in the last 11 years (January 2009-November 2020) with the support of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), said the minister, adding that some 850,000 jobs were created there.