State-owned jute mills under the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation incurred a loss of Tk 481.90 crore in the last fiscal year 2016-2017, said textiles and jute ministry on Sunday. The overall loss, however, declined by Tk 174.91 crore in the year compared with that of the previous FY 2015-2016 when 26 government-owned jute mills had incurred a loss of Tk 656.81 crore. The information was revealed at a meeting on annual performance evaluation of the mills held at the ministry’s conference room on the day. The ministry in a press release said that the BJMC identified some reasons including excess number of labourers working in the factories, fall in export of jute and jute goods, institutional incapacity and corruption for the losses.Additional number of workers is now working in the factories resulting in excess cost of the corporation in payment of salaries, it said. The export of jute goods is also declining in global market because of fall in demand creating financial crisis for the corporation. The BJMC is also unable to purchase raw jute in time due to fund crisis, said the press release. In addition, institutional incapacity and corruption are also major reasons for the continuous loss of the BJMC, it said. According to the ministry, the corporation managed to trim down its loss in the last fiscal year through reducing the number of jute purchase centres to 64 from 147. Rise in demand of jute in domestic market driving by mandatory jute packaging act also helped minimising the loss. State minister for textiles and jute Mirza Azam said that the government took various steps to make the jute sector profitable. The government has already signed three memorandums of understanding with different countries including China to modernise the years old jute mills.