State-owned jute mills in Bangladesh have decided to offload at least 49 per cent of their stake on the capital market. There are 26 such jute mills. Also the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) will be turned into a holding company. At present, the mills are running under BJMC. The divestment will be completed within the next one year. The shares will be floated once BJMC turns into a holding company. The move is expected to ensure the livelihood of more than 80,000 workers.
The aim of offloading is to make state-run jute mills run profitably. The government has decided to turn the BJMC into a holding company to protect the state-owned jute mills from incurring financial losses. It has so far succeeded in making five jute mills profitable and is hopeful of seeing others become profitable after floating shares. A good number of loss-making mills have already been shut down over the years.
As a part of the offloading activities, the government will immediately enlist chartered accountants to make the valuation of assets and liabilities of the mills under BJMC. The government nationalised 79 jute mills after liberation through the Bangladesh Industrial Enterprises (Nationalisation) Order, 1972. Later the government sold 52 jute mills to private entrepreneurs.