MUZAFFARGARH- The Pakistan Jute Mills Association (PJMA) has said that thousands of workers will be rendered jobless if the government does not give incentives to jute mills.

"The Jute Industry is providing jobs to 125,000 workers directly or indirectly but it has been continuously neglecting by the government," said a PJMA spokesman while talking to the media men here the other day.

He claimed that the jute mill was the only job-oriented industry that provides jobs to more than 8,000 people of Muzaffargarh district and adjacent areas.

Endorsing the demands, the PJMA spokesman demanded that the government should encourage the jute industry by providing a level-playing field so that it could compete with the jute industry of India and Bangladesh.

He said that the jute industry would be able to play a more significant role to reduce unemployment and poverty. Pakistan also needs to work on a right strategy to increase exports of non-traditional items. He said that in the last few years, jute value addition had taken new dimensions and different fashion accessories and products were being produced that could earn foreign exchange, he said.

The spokesman said that Pakistan should follow the Bangladesh where recently Bangladesh's appellate division of the Supreme Court had supported their government's decision to make use of jute bags necessary for packaging rice/grain in order to provide assistance to jute sack industry against the polypropylene or plastic bags.

He requested the Ministries of Textiles, Commerce and TDAP to take a closer look at the situation and come up with a plan to enable the Jute Industry to compete globally.