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The government should form a committee to investigate the corruption in jute sector, speakers at a discussion said yesterday.

“As investigation to unearth corrupt practices are going on in different sectors, such type of drive should also be conducted to find out fraud in the jute sector,” said justice Golam Rabbani at the discussion styled 'Foreign Advice, Jute Industry and Our Agro Economy' in Dhaka.

Terming June 30 as the national day for saving the jute sector, Rabbani also urged to bring the people under justice who facilitated the closure of Adamjee Jute Mill on June 30, 2002.

“ After the railway sector of India the Jute sector of Bangladesh was the largest public sector of the world and those who were behind the anomalies and corruption in the sector should now be brought under justice,” Sheikh Shahidul Islam, a former Jute Minister of Ershad led government, told the function organised by Citizen Unity, a rights group.

It was $ 247 million 'Jute Sector Adjustment Credit' by the World Bank (WB) in 1994 that started the decline of the jute sector of the country in the name of structural adjustment programme, Manwar Mustafa, a development researcher, said in his keynote speech.

He also informed the participants that in 1981 the number of looms operating in the public jute sector was 23,749 that decreased to only 8,915 in 2005 following the deal with the WB.

“ While the country's jute production suffered after the agreement, India's jute sector witnessed a revival which will increase five folds by 2010," he added.

“We will not be able to envisage Bangladesh without jute, as golden fiber is entwined with golden Bangladesh”, said Faruk Khan, a Awami League leader.

Sahidullah Chowdhury, a labour leader, among others, also spoke at the function. The discussion was presided over by Prof ASM Atiqur Rahman of the Institute of Social Welfare of Dhaka University.

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