Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the regular cabinet meeting yesterday gave directives to allocate the fund for Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC). After the meeting, the Jute and Textile Ministry announced that the government has allocated Tk1,000 crore fund for 27 state-owned jute mills in the country.
The BJMC has 27 jute mills under it, with 70,000 employees. Among them, 32,000 are permanent and the remaining employees work on a contractual basis.
Jute mill workers will also receive their due wages from the past eight weeks just before Pohela Boishakh, the Bangla New Year.
The ministry will provide Tk48 crore from which the due salaries of the jute mill workers will be paid from tomorrow. Other dues will be paid later, as it will take nearly seven days to get the allocated Tk1,000 crore,â€ said the State Minister for Jute and Textile Mirza Azam.
In reply to a query, the state minister said that the dues are from 2008; but they rose in the last three years. Among the dues, Tk200 crore are for gratuity and Tk300 crore for provident fund. Not only workers in the Khulna region, but workers of all regions will receive their dues.
The CBA and non-CBA Oikya Parishad of the seven jute mills â€“ Crescent Jute Mills, Platinum Jute Mills, Khalishpur Jute Mills, Star Jute Mills, Eastern Jute Mills, Jessore Jute Mills, and Carpeting Jute Mills â€“ have been observing a strike since April 4 to press home their five-point demand.
The demands of the workers include adequate allocation for the jute industry, payment of their arrears, formation of a wage board, and stopping the move to privatize the state-owned jute mills.
The allocated amount is also meant for modernizing jute mills and purchasing raw materials for the mills.
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