The government has decided to hand over two state-owned textile mills, held by Privatisation Commission for long, to the Power Division for better use of their land.
The mills are Magura Textile Mills and Rangamati Textile Mills, which have been listed for privatisation long back, Additional Cabinet Secretary Nurul Karim told journalists, after meetings of the cabinet committee on economic affairs and public purchase on Monday.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith chaired the meetings.
Earlier, the Ministry of Jute and Textile wanted to take back the mills from the Commission.
Nearly three years ago, 12 SoEs under the jute and textile ministry were listed for divestment and sent to the cabinet committee on economic affairs for its nod. But the SoEs are still waiting for the approval.
Sources said the ministry of textiles has recently made a move to sell the unused land of 12 SoEs, but the finance ministry viewed not to sell the land without consulting the commission.
The meeting also approved a proposal for renovation work of the state-owned wine producing company, Carew & Co, and handing over 1.16 acres of land of the state-owned Services and Facilities Centre to the jute and textile ministry from Privatisation Commission.
The Privatisation Commission had undertaken a new project to lease out unused land under different public organisations to private investors. It identified 1,288 acres of unused land at 39 SoEs, of which six were found in full operation, nine partially and the rest closed, officials said.
The commission proposed to set up 257 industrial units on the unused or additional land. Once the proposal is implemented, Tk50bn will be invested over two years, creating employment for 50,000 people.
Over the years, the commission, created for smooth transfer of loss-making public sector entities to the private sector, has not succeeded in divestment, mainly due to non-cooperation of different ministries and legal wrangles, officials said.
They said lack of coordination among various public sector agencies stand in the way of the divestment process.
Indifference among the government high-ups and non-cooperation of different ministries has been blamed for the failure to make a fresh list since 2009, when 26 SoEs were listed for privatisation.
According to the Privatisation Commission, 75 SoEs, such as textiles, jute, fisheries, food processing, engineering, chemicals, tannery, sugar and forestry, have been privatised since 1993 – 54 through bids and the rest by offloading shares.
In late 2009, a body drawing representatives from different ministries was formed to identify SoEs suitable for privatisation. But there has been no progress to this effect.
In 2010, a committee, headed by the principal secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, was supposed to be formed at the PM’s directive to make a fresh list for the divestment process. But the order has gone unheeded to date.