Govt to clear BJMC mills workers’ payment in 1 year

Shakahwat  Hossain  | Published: 23:36, Jul 12,2020 | Updated: 01:29, Jul 13,2020


Workers, who become jobless following the closure of Latif Bawany Jute Mills Limited, fill in bank account opening forms on a veranda of a mill building at Demra in Dhaka on Sunday. — New Age photo

The government would clear the benefits of the golden handshake offered to workers of 25 state-owned mills under the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation within one year.

BJMC chairman Md Abdur Rauf told New Age on Sunday that the government made the decision to clear all benefits to the BJMC mills workers in one year just before the announcement of the national budget in June.

The ministry of finance kept aside Tk 5,000 crore in the current budget as it initially wanted to clear the payment to the workers within two years because of the shortage of fund amid the COVID-19 fallout.   

Finally, when the timeline was fixed it was decided that the workers’ payment would be cleared within one year, said Abdur Rauf.

The BJMC chairman said they were expected to place the workers’ list with payment details to the ministry of finance from next week.

Meanwhile, a committee led by additional secretary Sheikh Mohammad Salim Ullah was appointed in the ministry of finance to examine the BJMC workers’ documents.

Salim Ullah said they had already asked the BJMC to send the workers’ list.

He said the payment was likely to give once examination of certain number of workers completed.

On July 2, the government announced the closure of 25 jute mills operated under the state-owned Bangladesh Jute Mill Corporation since 1972 rendering around 50,000 workers, including temporary workers, jobless amid protest by the Left Democratic Alliance, a combine of eight left-leaning political parties.

According to a press release issued by the ministry of Textiles and Jute affairs on July 2, total 24,886 permanent workers would voluntarily retire through golden handshake policy, effective from July 1, as per Bangladesh labour Law 2006.

The workers will be given wages for 60-day notice period as per the labour law, the release said, adding that they would be given gratuity as per National Wage Board 2015, all the money of the provident fund and the golden handshake benefits.

According to a calculation of the ministry a worker in general will be benefitted with Tk 13.86 lakh while the maximum benefit for a worker will be Tk 54 lakh, it said.

At the same time, all the dues of 8,956 workers who went in retirement since 2013 and all the irregular workers will be paid at a one-off payment, the release said.

It said that half of the compensation would be given in cash and other half in saving certificates run by the finance ministry.

The workers’ cash compensation will be transferred to their bank accounts.

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