Announcing incentives for the private sector to boost production and export of jute and jute goods, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday called upon all concerned to take effective steps for making the jute sector profitable to sustain the industry.
‘Jute is such a product that produces no waste. It should not have to count losses. Attention will have to be given to make the industry profitable,’ she said at the inaugural function of National Jute Day 2019 and Diversified Jute Products Fair at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka in the morning.
‘I believe that we will be able to make the sector profitable by innovating new products,’ she added.
The prime minister said that government support for development of the sector will continue.
‘We want to give more importance to the private sector whose increased engagement will help the sector to flourish,’ she said.
Hasina said that her government was giving incentives to other sectors for accelerating the pace of the country’s development.
‘We will also provide incentives to those who are involved in the jute sector to help raise export of jute products,’ she also said.
The Ministry of Textiles and Jute organised the function with textiles and jute minister Golam Dastagir Gazi in the chair.
Chairperson of the parliamentary standing committee on textiles and jute ministry Mirza Azam was the special guest while secretary in-charge of the ministry Mizanur Rahman delivered the welcome address.
Ministers, secretaries to the prime minister, parliament members, foreign diplomats and high civil and military officials were present at the function.
Referring to various government initiatives for development of the jute sector, the prime minister said the fate of the people, particularly farmers, was linked to the sector.
She said that jute mill owners who had used to be frustrated once now felt encouraged due to the pragmatic measures taken by her government.
‘We want the golden days of the Golden Fibre to be brought back and more entrepreneurs come to forward,’ she said.
‘The sector has the potential to earn more foreign currency and create employment opportunities for people in the economy,’ she said.
She laid emphasis on fixing the production target based on the demand so that farmers and manufacturers would not incur losses.
‘We have seen in the past that farmers have incurred losses due to overproduction while production shortage at times hampered the manufacturing of jute products,’ she said.
Hasina said this meant that demand should dictate production which would ensure no losses were incurred.
The prime minister laid importance on diversifying the usage of jute and conducting more research to expand the range of products that could use jute as its raw material.
‘As the second largest jute producing country in the world, we have to focus more on diverse usage of jute. We need to invest more in research of this sector and tap into more export markets for the fibre,’ she said.
The golden days of jute were making a comeback, she said, adding that people around the world were becoming aware of the environmental concerns posed by the use of artificial fibres and were opting for natural fibres such as jute.
The prime minister urged investors from home and abroad to set up product-specific industrial areas or special zones for development and expansion of jute products.
‘By extending the cultivation of jute and expanding usage of jute products, we can play an important role in this environmental movement,’ she said.
She also said that the method of producing jute polymers from jute had been discovered recently.
The prime minister said that National Jute Day was being celebrated for the third time to promote and flourish the sector in an integrated manner.
‘On this special day, I congratulate all involved with the cultivation, production, marketing and use of jute and jute products,’ she said.
The prime minister later handed over awards to 14 individuals and organisations for their contributions to the development of the jute sector.
She also opened the Diversified Jute Products Fair on the BICC premises and visited different stalls set up at the fair.
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