Rajshahi Textile Mills (RTM) resumed operations yesterday after nine months of its closure, following a private initiative that is expected to employ around 500 people.
Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton formally opened the mill at a ceremony on the mill premises.
Trade Exchange, a private cotton trading firm of Narayanganj, signed a two-year agreement with RTM to provide raw materials and collect yarn on the basis of service charge at a rate of Tk 6,200 per bale of cotton.
The mill will begin operations with 150 employees and then gradually increase to 500 people in the next few months.
The agreement was signed following the approval of Bangladesh Textile Mills Corporation (BTMC), said M Ansar Uddin, general manager of RTM.
He said officials and employees have not been paid for the last nine months, while the mill is in around Tk 2 crore debt.
The RTM failed to manage private investment to run the mill, floating open tenders three times since November 2008, said the GM. The mill was closed with an aim to privatise.
Later, under the initiatives of the RCC mayor, the private organisation agreed to bring the mill back to operations on a service charge basis, Ansar added.
"If the mill successfully continues to produce yarn, the government plans to turn it into a composite mill, by using its own land in the future," said Mayor Liton.
He added that the government is trying to overcome the problems with unemployment in the country by reviving closed mills and factories.
The mayor said invitations were sent to private investors to construct at least 20 knitwear factories in the city to generate employment for 30,000 people.