General

No decision to shut down sugar mills: Industries Minister

Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun on Tuesday told Parliament that the government didn’t take any decision to shut down the state-owned sugar mills, though the threshing of sugarcanes in six mills out of total 15 has been kept suspended for the current season.

“No sugar mill has been closed down. No decision has been taken to shut down sugar mills,” he said replying to a tabled question from Awami League MP Ali Azam (Bhola-2).

The Industries Minister said there are 15 sugar mills under the Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC).

Of these, only one mill — Carew & Co (Bd) Ltd– is profitable, while 14 others can’t make profit, he said.

Sugarcane threshing in six mills was kept suspended for the 2020-2021 season, he added.

In reply to a separate question from the same MP, the Minister said the government is implementing two development projects to modernise the sugar mills in order to save the country’s sugar industry.

The two projects are being implemented with GoB fund under BSFIC to modernise the sugar mills and make those environment-friendly entities.

The projects are BMR of Carew & Co (Bd) Ltd (1st revised) and Establishment of Effluent Treatment Plants in 14 Sugar Mills, said Nurul Majid.

Responding to another question from ruling party lawmaker M Abdul Latif (Chattogram-11), the Industries Minister said the contribution of industry (manufacturing) sector to the GDP increased at 24.18 percent in 2019-20 fiscal year from 17.90 percent in 2008-09 fiscal year.

The share of large and medium industries to the GDP rose at 20.22 percent in 2019-20 fiscal year from 12.71 percent in 2008-09 fiscal year, according to the statistics he placed in the House.

However, the contribution of small industries declined to 3.96 percent in the last fiscal year from 5.18 percent in the 2008-09 fiscal year.

Some 103,220 industrial units were set up in the last 11 years (Jan 2009-Nov 2020) with the support of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), said the Minister, adding that some 8.50 lakh jobs were created there.

Source: United News of Bangladesh