Seven Khulna jute mills to run under public-private partnership: Mayor
KHULNA, June 30: Khulna City Corporation (KCC) Mayor Talukder Abdul Khaleque here on Monday said the government has decided to run state-owned seven Khulna jute mills under public-private partnership (PPP).
Due to mounting losses of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), the mills will be modernised in line with the native and global demands after a golden handshake process of the workers, Mayor Khaleque said as chief guest at the press conference held in the Circuit House conference room.
Underscoring the need for modernisation of the BJMC mills, he said the workability of these mills which run with 60-70 years old machineries has been reduced to almost zero with the course of time while BJMC's old management structure is not suitable for modern technology-based production system, he further said.
He added all dues of 8,954 retired workers since 2014, all due salaries of current 24,886 workers, provident fund, gratuity, and at maximum 27 per cent rate of gratuity will be paid cent percent along with retirement facilities and about Tk 5,000 crore will be provided from the government budget to this end.
After the voluntary retirement, initiatives will be taken to run the mills in PPP or joint venture or G to G or lease model under the control of the government, he said.
Khaleque said the current workers, who will retire voluntarily, will get priority of jobs in the mills to be modernised and reopened in the new model, and new employment opportunities will also be created in those mills.
Khulna District Administration organised the conference with Deputy Commissioner Md Helal Hossain in the chair.
Terming Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is very cordial regarding workers, Khaleque said the government has given Tk 10,000 crores as compensation, so far, thinking workers' wellbeing.
Each worker will get Tk over 12 lakh to 54 lakh as per decision by the government, he added.
Additional Police Commissioner Sardar Rakibul Islam, Superintendent of Police SM Shafiullah, Additional District Magistrate Md Yusuf Ali, President of Khulna Press Club SM Nazrul Islam, and President of Khulna Union of Journalists Munshi Md Mahbub Alam Sohag, among others, were also present at the event.
Meanwhile, workers along with their family members of nine state-run jute mills staged two hours' sit-in in front of their respective mills from 9am to 11am in protest of golden handshake by the government.
CBA and Non-CBA Sangram Parishad of Bangladesh State-Owned Jute Mills called the Monday's agitation, adding they will observe fast-unto-death at the same places from July 1 if the government does not cancel the decision.
Convener of Sangram Parishad Sardar Abdul Hamid told the Daily Observer, over 25,000 jute workers including their family members will become beggars if the jute mills are shut.