State Minister for Textiles and Jute Mirza Azam on Monday alleged that it has not been possible to recognise jute as an agricultural product due the negative attitude of Finance Minister AMA Muhith.
“The Finance Minister has a negative attitude towards jute. This has also affected the entire Finance Ministry, hampering the development of jute,” he said while addressing a roundtable discussion titled ‘Jute Development: Mass Media Thoughts’ at Cirdap Auditorium.
Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) and the Textiles and Jute Ministry organised the programme.
Mirza Azam said even after the announcement of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to include jute in the list of agricultural products, the file is still at the monitoring cell of the Finance Minister. “The Finance Minister isn’t including it in the list as he doesn’t like jute.”
He also blamed the Planning Commission in this regard, saying it does not approve a file even after placing it thrice.
Mentioning that the number of entrepreneurs in the jute sector is on the rise due to the diversification of the product, the junior minister said tea is being produced from jute and this is being exported abroad. “Charcoal produced from jute sticks has been being exported abroad for the last several years.”
He also said time will come when there will be no need to export raw jute. “Diversified products will be made in the country using jute.”
Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation Chairman M MahmudulHasan, Director General of the Department of Jute M ShamsulAlam and Jute Diversification Promotion Centre Executive Director Rina Parveen, among others, spoke at the programme held with ERF President Saif Islam Dilal in the chair.