State Minister for Textiles and Jute Mirza Azam said on Monday Bangladesh will be presented with new image before the world community through diversification of the jute products, reports BSS.
"Steps have already been taken for diversification jute products . . . these products will present Bangladesh with new image before the world community," Azam said while speaking at a roundtable discussion at CIRDAP auditorium in the capital.
Ministry of Jute and Economic Reporters' Forum (ERF) jointly organized the roundtable 'Pater Unnayan: Gonomadhamer Bhabna' with ERF president Saif Islam Dilal in the chair.
Textiles and Jute Ministry Secretary Faijur Rahman, Senior Journalist Shaykh Siraj, Bangladesh Jute Mill Corporation (BJMC) Chairman Dr Md Mahmudul Hasan, Director General of the Jute Directorate Md Shamsul Alam, Jute Diversify Promotion Centre Executive Director Rina Parvin and ERF General Secretary Ziaur Rahman, among others, took part in the discussion.
AFP's Bureau Chief Shafiqul Alam presented the keynote paper.
Mirza Azam said the ministry has been working on the diversification of jute goods. Last year, there were 135 diversified jute products and now the number of such products is now 240, he added.
While focusing on the government's steps for the development of jute, the state minister said after taking office in 2009, the government of Sheikh Hasina opened all closed jute mills. Around 68 lakh bales of ray jute were produced in 2015 and now the country is producing 85 lakh bales, he added.
He said the Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to list the diversified jute products as processed agricultural one in 2016 but this ordered is yet to be carried out. "I will inform the Prime minister about it," he added
Mirza Azam said that there is international conspiracy against jute. After 1975 several initiatives were taken to destroy the jute, he said, adding that BJMC's mills were handed over to private owners in the name of privatization.
Mentioning the conspiracy of the World Bank, Mirza Azam said the world's largest Adamjee Jute Mills was shut down by BNP in 2002. The World Bank gave financial assistance to the then Bangladesh government to pay salaries to the workers. But at the same time, the government of India took steps to support its jute mills. Over 2.5 lakh bales of raw jute were exported from Adamjee mill at that time, he added.