Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina blamed the post-1975 administrations, especially Bangladesh Nationalist Party, for destroying the country’s prospective jute sector thanks to their lack of farsightedness.
The BNP government had made agreement with the World Bank to close all the public sector jute mills citing they were loss-making, she said adding that such conspiracies were meant for destruction of the sector.
The Prime Minister made the remarks while inaugurating the three-day programme of National Jute Day and Diversified Jute Fair 2018 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka on Tuesday.
Jute, the natural fibre, was once called the golden fibre and cash crop in Bangladesh, but it lost the glory because of a lack of attention on the sector over the past years.
Hasina, after assuming office in 2009, arranged reopening some of the state-run jute mills as the demand for natural fibre is on the rise in the global market.
Now she calls for improvement of the mills.
While addressing the inauguration, she laid importance on modernisation of whole jute sector asking the public sector industries to work sincerely to make the jute mills sustainable.
The government has taken steps for modernization of jute cultivation, procurement and preservation aimed at attracting more farmers and traders to this highly potential sector, she said.
Five jute mills were reopened by giving facilities mostly to the private sector and expressed the hope that the public sector mills would do their jobs with sincerity and honesty to save the mills and increase production.
She said after coming to power in 1991, the BNP government made a deal with the World Bank to close all jute mills in Bangladesh. The deal resulted in suspension of export of 2.5 lakh bale of jute from Bangladesh to different countries.
“At the same time the bank signed agreement to import jute from India and rejuvenate their sick jute mills,” she said adding that the largest jute mill- Adamjee- was closed down after the assumption of the BNP in 2001.
It rendered some 25 thousand workers and employees jobless, she said.
Minister for Textiles and Jute Md. Emaz Uddin Pramanik presided over the function while State Minister Mirza Azam and chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Textiles and Jute Saber Hossain Chowdhury were present as special guests.
Bangladesh has been observing the National Jute Day for the 2nd time in the country for promotion of the sector with participation of representatives from jute cultivation, production of jute goods, marketing and users and researchers.
Hasina also distributed prizes among the students who secured the first, second and third position in the essay writing competition of school students on the National Jute Day.
She also distributed awards among 12 best jute growers and jute traders in 11 categories.
The prime minister said jute is one of the valuable assets for Bangladesh as well as a diversified exportable goods having huge potentiality.
“We have to work together to exploit the prospect,” she added.