No employees will be terminated from six public sugar mills that have suspended production, says the Ministry of Industries.
The mills will instead adjust their workforces, and collect sugarcane from their respective catchment areas this sugarcane threshing season, the ministry said in a press release Monday.
According to several media reports, the 15 state-owned mills begin threshing on 15 October every year, but this time they are starting the operation on 15 December after a delay caused by indecision and other issues.
In the meantime, the government said threshing will not start at six mills this year when the remaining nine will resume operation. The Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) informed the mills about the decision recently, citing mounting losses.
The production suspension triggered protests as the mill workers feared job losses and the farmers were concerned over their produce.
Amid the protests, an inter-ministerial meeting was held Sunday to review the overall situation. The meeting was chaired by: Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun and was attended by Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, State Minister for Industries Kamal Ahmed Majumder, State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Mannujan Sufian, and lawmakers from the respective regions.
The meeting decided that Pabna Sugar Mill, Shyampur Sugar Mill, Panchagarh Sugar Mill, Setabganj Sugar Mill, Rangpur Sugar Mill, and Kushtia Sugar Mill will remain shut until further notice.
However, these mills will purchase sugarcane produced in their catchment areas.
The industries ministry said the remaining nine mills – Carew & Company (Bangladesh) Ltd, Mobarakganj Sugar Mills Limited, Faridpur Sugar Mills, Rajshahi Sugar Mills, North Bengal Sugar Mills Limited, Natore Sugar Mills Limited, Thakurgaon Sugar Mills Limited, Joypurhat Sugar Mill and Zeal Bangla Sugar Mills Limited – will resume sugarcane threshing as usual this year.
Referring to the meeting, the industries ministry said it is working to make these mills profitable through modernisation.