Bangladesh National Awami Party-Bangladesh NAP Chairman Jebel Rahman Gani and Secretary-General M. Golam Mustafa Bhuiyan.
The leaders made this claim in a statement sent to the media on Tuesday (December 8).
They said that lakhs of sugarcane farmers and thousands of workers have been put in dire straits as a result of the government's sudden decision to close sugar mills. Desperation and uncertainty have arisen among them. Workers must be unemployed. This inhumane and short-sighted decision of the government has created lamentation among the people who work in sugar mills including sugarcane farmers. On the other hand, there will be a shortage of sugar in the market.
The leaders termed the government's announcement to close 6 sugar mills as against public interest and said that due to the closure of the six state-owned sugar mills, the sugarcane plantations in the northern region will go up completely, which will have a serious impact on the environment and biodiversity of the region. Sugarcane is a highly susceptible plant. Its ability to cope with the adverse effects of climate change is much higher than other crops. Even in droughts, floods and high tides, the crop does not completely deprive the farmer. If sugarcane cultivation takes off, large amounts of trees will be cleared for fuelwood in the north, which will accelerate the desertification of the region.
They also said that not a single sugar mill has been modernized in 49 years of independence. No effective steps have been taken for product diversification. Projects such as production of sugar from sugar beet, production of electricity through co-generation and production of refined sugar from raw sugar are yet to see the light of day. Sugar production from sugar beet will never succeed in Bangladesh. Still Thakurgaon Sugar Mill does not make any sense to undertake sugar beet based project. A sugar mill with a crushing capacity of 1500 tons per day in India is run by a workforce of 300 to 400 people, while a mill with the same crushing capacity in Bangladesh is run by a thousand to twelve hundred employees. So how will the sugar industry be profitable?
The leader said that the role of poor farmers and hard workers was the main one in the great liberation war. Apart from the war of independence, the workers of the country's mills and factories made important contributions in the United Front elections of 1954, the 6-point movement of 66, the mass uprising of 69, and the elections of 70. They make the streets vibrate with marching slogans. Joining the movement with the students, these workers broke the lock of the jail and freed Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the symbol of Bengali hope. Bangabandhu nationalized all the sugar mills in the country in 1972 thinking about the welfare of farmers and workers. Unfortunately, on the birth centenary of that great leader, the closure of the sugar mills was announced. The interests of farmers and workers were disturbed. Extreme uncertainty appeared in their lives. It will go down in history as a matter of great pain for the nation.