BNP govt sold out jute mills at throwaway prices


The BNP-led four-party alliance government had sold out a number of jute mills at throwaway prices at the fag end of its tenure in a bid to hand over them to the private sector.

The parliamentary standing committee on jute and textile ministry revealed this at a meeting held at the parliament building yesterday.

The committee also recommended scrapping the deals made by the previous BNP government to privatise three state-run cotton mills, as the buyers failed to comply with the terms and conditions.

The parliamentary body also asked the ministry to again invite tenders to privatise these mills.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, the standing committee Chairman Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury said, “We have found out that a number of state-run jute mills were sold out at a very low price.”

For example, International Trading Company at Nikli, Kishorganj, has been sold at Tk 64 lakh, although the authorities estimated its price at Tk 2.59 crore, he added.

Even the market prices of these industries are several times higher than the prices estimated by the deputy commissioners, he said.

“We have asked the ministry to submit a detailed report on such irregularities at the next meeting of the committee,” Akhtaruzzaman said, adding that the committee will place its recommendations for action against the persons responsible on the basis of the report.

He also said, “The committee has recommended cancelling the privatisation deals for Olympia Textile Mills, Monno Textile Mills and National Cotton Mills as they did not pay money as per terms and conditions.”

Source: The Daily Star, 27 May 2009

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