Closing down jute mills part of reviving West Bengal’s dying factories: JOF


Jatiya Oikya Front on Tuesday alleged that the government decision to close down state owned jute mills was part of a blueprint of reviving the dying jute factories in West Bengal of India.

The JOF leaders made the allegation in a joint statement protesting against the decision and termination of about 51 thousand workers, including 24,886 permanent ones, of the mills amid the COVID-19 crisis.

‘Although the government had said that the mills would be reopened under public-private partnership, it can logically be feared from the past records of the government that the jute mills would be handed over to a few people close to it at a token price,’ the statement said.

‘This decision appears to be part of a blueprint of reviving the dying jute mills in West Bengal by destroying Bangladeshi jute mills,’ it read.

‘The decision was taken at a time when crores of people had become jobless. Let alone creating new jobs, the government is terminating people from jobs,’ rad the statement of JOF, an alliance of the opposition political parties. 

Referring to jute secretary’s comment that the government had to incur a loss of Tk 10,674 crore in past 48 years, the JOF leaders said that the government, without buying a single watt of electricity, paid Tk 52,000 crore to a few businessmen close to the government only for capacity charge.

‘Labourers are not responsible for the losses in the jute sector. Like other state-owned sectors, the losses happened due to the top administration’s corruption, inefficiency and inability. The labourers are now paying for those failures,’ the statement read.

The JOF leaders urged the government to refrain from implementing the decision and extended their solidarity to the jute mill labourers protesting against the government decision.

JOF top leader and Gono Forum president Dr Kamal Hossain, Bangladesh Nationalist Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal-JSD president  ASM Abdur Rob, BNP standing committee member Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nagarik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, GonoShashthya Kendra trustee Zafrullah Chowdhury and Bikalpadhara Bangladesh faction chairman Nurul Amin Byapari made the statement.

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