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Fresh allocation of funds sought for Jute

The ministry of textiles and jute (MoTJ) has sought a fresh allocation of over Tk 3.55 billion from the government for the state-run Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), officials said. The amount of money will be spent on jute procurement by BJMC and payment of its different dues Earlier, the government released had released Tk 4.60 billion in favour of BJMC. Besides, it also released Tk 2.70 billion to help the state-run entity in purchasing raw jute and paying gratuity and wages to its employees recently. It is very difficult for cash-strapped BJMC to operate jute mills even after payment of its all dues. The corporation has set target to procure 2.57 million bales of raw jute in the current fiscal year (FY) 2016-17. An amount of Tk 12 billion will be required to meet the procurement target, according to the data available with BJMC. At present, BJMC is the biggest employer in the industrial sector of the country. It provides direct jobs to about 70,000 workers as well as 5,500 officers and employees supporting the livelihood of around 6.0 million farm families. More than 50 million people are directly or indirectly involved with jute and jute industry. The state-run entity is operating 26 mills, including three non-jute industries. There are seven mills in Dhaka zone, ten in Chittagong and nine in Khulna.