Rajshahi Silk Factory began its experimental production on Friday after sixteen years of closure.
Fazle Hossain Badsha, member of parliament for Rajshahi city area and senior vice-president of Bangladesh Sericulture Development Board, inaugurated the launch of five looms in the morning.
Following the inauguration, the suspension of activities of the defunct silk factory came to an end sixteen years ago after the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led government declared the factory closed on November 30, 2002 amid continuous loss.
Rajshahi Silk Factory commissioned on 15.5 bigha of land in Seroil area of the city in 1961.
Before closing, the factory had 35 looms and around 6,000-metre-long silk was produced every year.
Among others, Bangladesh Sericulture Development Board director general Abdul Hakim, its member Sabrina Naz, social workers Shahin Aktar Reni, Bangladesh Resham Malik Samiti president Liakat Ali were present at the inaugural ceremony.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Badsha said they launched five looms and had plans to make all the looms functioning for the sake of revitalising the silk sector.
He said the BNP-led government closed many industrial factories during its tenure in the pretext of loss and never tried to find ways to make those factories profitable.
‘But, we have saved the factory from being privatised. Now, we want to run the factory with gas which will reduce production cost by 30 percent. And then, the silk factory will become a profitable institution, he said.
Badsha said the people of Rajshahi still dream of weaving and selling thread. ‘We want this industry to be a social initiative. Silk yarn will be woven in every house of the city, people will earn money by selling those yarn to the factories,’ he hoped.
Bangladesh Sericulture Development Board director general Abdul Hakim said a total of 287,000 metre silk cloth would be manufactured annually if all 63 looms could be functional.
Ashraful Islam Tutul, who worked at the silk factory for 24 years as chief mechanic and turned up in the factory on Friday, told New Age that he was very happy as the factory reopened after a long time.
He said nearly 300 workers were employed in the factory before its closure in 2002.
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