The golden promise

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News Desk

There has been recent discourse on the revival of the jute industry in Bangladesh which, aside from being extremely beneficial for a country known for jute production, would also be very much in line with the sustainability goals that we are aspiring for globally.

The government had taken a number of initiatives in recent months to resurrect what has essentially become a dying industry, with incentives provided to jute farmers for increased production and a promise to bring up old jute mills to current standards — all of which pointed towards a brighter future for the golden fibre as well as our economy.

Hence, it is all the more confusing to see state-run jute mills being leased out to the RMG and textile industry, as attempts to lease them out to private jute manufacturers seemingly failed due to the high charges.

This also poses a high risk of increased unemployment for jute workers, who could be much better utilized with advanced training and better work opportunities in the field.

We seem to be taking a few steps backwards on what looked to be a promising initiative.

In order to truly restore the industry to its former glory — and even begin to make use of its untapped potential — more aggressive steps need to be taken by the authorities. A lot more needs to be done. More funds ought to be allocated by the government in this regard, and more incentives must be offered to jute mills and farmers.

For the long-term benefit of our economy, it is vital that the reinvention of the jute industry is treated with the seriousness it warrants — and we would do well to recognize that sooner rather than later.

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