Industries minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun has said the industries ministry has no plan to close state-owned sugar mills or lay off workers, rather initiatives are being taken to make sugar mills profitable by modernising them and providing alternative income.
To make the sugar mills profitable, the production of improved varieties of sugarcane, as well as product diversification initiatives, will be implemented expeditiously by intensifying sugarcane research, he added.
He was speaking as the chief guest at a meeting to review the implementation progress of projects included in the Ministry of Industries' Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the fiscal year 2020-21.
The minister said the creation of new jobs as per the election manifesto is a political commitment of the present government. The Ministry of Industry has been working from the beginning to implement it. There is no question of closing down any state-owned factory and making the workers jobless.
To create new jobs in these factories, the old machinery is being replaced by modern one and trained manpower is being strengthened. Through this, efforts are being made to make the state-owned corporations, including the sugar mills under the ministry, profitable, he added.
Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun further said the officials and employees of the Ministry of Industries and its affiliated departments and agencies have made a significant contribution in the implementation of the project in compliance with the health rules during the Covid-19 period. As a result, the activities of the ministry have gained momentum.
He directed the project managers to continue their work in their respective areas and to fulfil their responsibilities with honesty, dedication and patriotism.
It was informed at the meeting that the buffer godown in Panchagarh and Chapainawabganj districts will be inaugurated on October 1 as the construction work has been completed.
In the meantime, buffer godowns have been constructed in the two districts under the project "Construction of 13 buffer godowns in different districts of the country to facilitate storage and distribution of fertilisers". The construction of the remaining 11 buffer godowns will be completed in June 2021.
Leather Industrial City, Dhaka and Bscic Industrial City, Bhairab project implementation progress inspection reports were presented at the meeting.
Instructions were given to expedite the completion of the remaining activities for setting up Chrome Separation, Chrome Recovery, Automation and Online Monitoring of Common Effluent Treatment Plant in the Leather Industry City.
Besides, instructions were given to the leather industry city officials to acquire skills and competencies in CTP management.
Bscic was also instructed to take initiatives to enhance the skills of the workers in the tannery cities and to make the metering system fully operational to prevent excessive use of water in tanneries.
Speaking as the special guest, state minister for industries Kamal Ahmed Majumder said the fertilisers stored in the godowns under Bscic must be properly stored, managed and distributed.
Warning that no corruption or irregularities will be accepted in the distribution of fertilisers including underweight, the state minister advised stopping the distribution of imported fertilisers in bulk fertilisers instead of importing bulk fertilisers.
He gave strict instructions to keep proper records of import, production and distribution of fertilisers. Without the permission of the ministry, additional manpower and unnecessary promotions cannot be given in the factories of the corporation under it. The factories would benefit if additional manpower was not provided.
He said the industries ministry was working to expand employment by reopening closed mills. Emphasising the production of improved varieties of sugarcane, he suggested speeding up the work of making the factories profitable by producing export-oriented beverage products in the sugar mills.
The meeting was chaired by industries secretary KM Ali Azam who said industrial cities should be set up keeping in view the local needs and requirements and necessary infrastructure development and services should be ensured for the operation of industrial factories there. He urged the officers to perform their duties with honesty, devotion and fairness.
Senior officials of the ministry and heads of various agencies and corporations under the ministry, and the directors of various projects were connected to the programme virtually.