POST TIME: 19 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
BJMC to provide 10.60cr jute sacks worth Tk 445cr to BCSA

BJMC to provide 10.60cr jute sacks worth Tk 445cr to BCSA

The state-owned Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) incurred a loss of Tk 500 crore last year, despite the adoption of several measures to improve its functioning.

According to sources, the BJMC drastically reduced the number of its jute procurement centres to 64 in 2017 from 147 in 2016—a move that is being seen as a major reason for the huge loss.

Against this backdrop, the BJMC yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Bangladesh Cold Storage Association (BCSA) for supplying 10.60 crore pieces of Hessian sacks to the latter at a cost of Tk 445 crore. Textile and jute ministry joint secretary Saleh Uddin and BCSA’s first vice-president Dr Quamrul Hossain Chowdhury inked the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations at the Secretariat.

As per the agreement, the BJMC will supply these jute sacks to the BCSA by December 31. It also fixed the price of the sack at Tk 42 per piece.

“At least 285 items are now being marketed both at home and abroad. The government has taken steps to increase exports to European countries after developing the inland market management,” Faizur Rahman Chowdhury, secretary of the textile and jute ministry, told reporters after the signing of the agreement.

The government was trying to revive the BJMC to make it self-reliant and everything was being done in accordance with the directives of the Prime Minister, he said.

“The past history of the BJMC was glorious, but it has now become  a losing organisation. So, we've taken a number of steps to make it a self-reliant government business entity and made changes in its management with a view to reducing corruption,” Chowdhury said.

This agreement would help the BJMC minimise its losses, he added.

He said that Bangladesh suceessfully marketed in Germany a drink made from jute plant extracts. Efforts were on to market the drink to other markets in Europe, the US, and Asia, he added.

BJMC chairman Mahmudul Hasan said the BCSA was the only big buyer of jute bags in the country. “The BJMC is now passing through a critical phase. So, this agreement will help the BJMC to minimise losses and overcome the crisis,” he added.

BCSA general secretary Mozammel Huq said there were about 416 cold storages across the country with a total capacity of 55 lakh tonnes. The production of potato was increasing due to the existence of such cold storages, he added.

“We'll use the jute sacks from the BJMC to preserve the potatoes. Besides, the sacks will also be used for potato exports,” said Huq.

A total of 22 jute mills are now running under the BJMC, which has capacity to produce 700 tonnes of jute products a day.