Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has declared that jute will be considered an agricultural product from now on.
She also inaugurated the Multipurpose Jute Goods Fair at the same venue.
Chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on the textiles and jute ministry Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Jute Minister Md Emaz Uddin Pramanik, State Minister for Textiles and Jute Mirza Azam and Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed had earlier in their speeches demanded that jute be accorded the status of an agricultural product.
Chowdhury said the government could not subsidise jute products as jute did not have a status similar to that of agricultural products.
Following their calls, Hasina said, “I would like to announce that we will consider jute and jute products as agricultural products.”
The prime minister emphasised the need to increase the production and use of jute goods.
Stating that this resource would have to be protected by any means, she mentioned that jute had the potential to earn Bangladesh a lot of foreign currency through export.
“We need to utilise our own resources. Bangladesh will present herself to the world with dignity, not by begging from others,” she added.There were 87 jute mills in Bangladesh once, but the government, in the 1980s, started to sell them off in the name of privatisation. So far, more than 60 mills have been privatised.
The prime minister reminded the people that the BNP had shut down several jute mills, including the world’s largest Adamjee Jute Mill, after it came to power in 2001.
“Whether an institution will be profitable depends on how it is taken care of. Shutting down the factories instead of taking care of them is not beneficial for the country.”
“There was a plot to destroy the jute industry. But we’ve taken initiatives to revive and modernise it,” Hasina said.
Her government restarted five jute mills and two textile mills after coming to power in 2009.
Hasina on Sunday also said that the government will announce a wage commission for the workers of the jute mills.
The prime minister handed over awards to 41 government and business organisations, and individuals in 13 categories at the event. She also visited the stalls at the jute goods fair.