Sultana Yesmin Mili . Sirajganj
Jobless employees and workers of the state-owned Sirajganj Qaumi Jute Mills have urged the government to reopen the mills.
The military-backed interim government closed the mill on July 31, 2007 as it had been losing for years due to mismanagement. But the closure of the mill left around 5,000 workers and 400 employees jobless.
Md Abdul Khalek, president, Sirajganj Qaumi Jute Mills Workers’ Union, said the production at the mills suddenly decreased due to lack of supply of spare-parts and quality raw-materials in time by the authorities concerned. Moreover, power disruption and some ‘un-productive workers and employees’ contributed to the loss of the mills. ‘If the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation monitored the mill properly and took action against the employees and workers who were not working, the mill would make profit,’ he said.
Md Rawshan Ali, a jobless worker, said the money he got after the closure of the mill had already finished. ‘I am now struggling to survive.’
Like Rawshan, many workers spoke about their endless struggle to earn living for their family.
The project chief of the mill, Saydur Rahman, said the mill would be made viable should the government allocate about Tk 25 crore and write off the interest on loans. He was optimistic that the mill would repay the outstanding loans on instalments if it would run under an efficient management.
The Qaumi Jute Mills was established at Raipur near the Sirajganj municipal area in 1961 on about 75.21 acres of land. The mill started productions in 1963 with 532 weaving looms.
According to the mills sources, about 2,000 workers and employees used to produce 40 tonnes of jute goods in every sixteen hours. The products included carpets, jute-bags and sacks. After inauguration, the mills made profit from 1980 to 1982, but it incurred about Tk 250 crore loss for the rest of the time.
Source: The Daily New Age, 04 May 2009