January 26, 2021, 3:09 am
Nazrul Islam, Joypurhat: The largestsugar mill in the country is Joypurhat Sugar Mill. It is also the largest in terms of capacity. Sugar worth Tk 8 crore has not been sold yet, so the employees and workers of this sugar mills have been leading a miserable life without getting salary allowance for four months.
Coronavirus situation is in one hand and on the other hand the prices of imported sugar in the open market is slightly lower than that of sugar produced in country’s sugar mills.
As a result, 1,318 metric tons of sugar worth Tk 7 crore 90 lakh remains unsold. Besides, 1,157 metric tons of molasses is also lying in the Mill’spremises.
That is why it has not been possible to pay the salaries andallowances of workers and employees, said the sugar mill authorities. However, the business leaders advised to import raw sugar and refine those to sale to mitigate problems and reduces losses of sugar mills every year.
It is learnt that even though the farmers have been paid their dues, the employees and workers have not been receiving their salary allowance for four months and as a result they are struggling to make ends meet.
So,it has become difficult to provide handfuls of rice at a time. Even though the educational institutions are closed, they cannot afford their children’s teaching materials and private tuitions fees. So many workers are having a frustrated day.
Last season, due to lack of sugarcane, this sugar mill was only 41 days operational. In this short span of time, 54,000 metric tons of sugar-cane has been threshed and 3534 metric tons of sugar has been produced. At present, the authorities have arrears of about Tk 16 crore, including the four-month basic salary gratuity area bill, in which 520 permanent workers of the sugar mill are leading inhuman lives.
In this regard, jointsecretary of Joypurhat Sugar Mills Sramik Karmachary Union Jahurul Haque said, “The workers are almost in the grip of a lot of trouble not getting their salaries and allowances. We’re also taking a closer approach to the corporation with the mill authority. But no action is being taken in this regard, we are directly seeking the intervention of the Prime Minister.
In this regard, the managing director of Joypurhat Sugar Mills Sayed Abu Bakar said, the price of imported sugar in the open market is slightly lower than the price of sugar produced in countries sugar mills. This is why our sugar are not being sold.However, the department assures the salaries and allowances of the workers will be paid very soon.
The Joypurhat Sugar Mill, established on 217 acres of land started its journey in 1962-63 season. The mill will start the 2020-2021 threshing season again with a target of 5175 metric tons of sugar by producing 69,000 metric tons of sugarcane on December 25, keeping in mind the accumulated loss of around Tk 400 crore