Records date the beginning of silk production in the region to the 13th century it was then known as Bengal silk or Ganges silk. The government of Pakistan started silk production in Rajshahi in 1952. Rajshahi Silk Factory is a state owned factory was founded in 1961. In 1978 it was handed over to Bangladesh Sericulture Development Board since then it has been making a loss. It was closed down in 30 November 2002. Before 2002, the annual production of silk was 300 tonnes of strings which by 2011 had come down to 50 tonnes. In 2011 the finance minister of Bangladesh, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, expressed interest in reopening the Rajshahi silk factory but the Privatisation Commission refused on the grounds that it was a loss making concern.
Among these varieties, Mulberry silk is the finest and is therefore the most valuable.
Saris and other products made out of Rajshahi silk are coveted by users in the country. Rajshahi silk is available as fabric in colors and patterns for designers. Silk fabric is available in ranges for apparel and for other purposes.
Rajshahi houses a number of silk industries and thr Bangladesh Sericulture Research and Training Institute. The region's sericulture accounts for almost the entire silk output of Bangladesh. Approximately 100,000 people are directly or indirectly employed in this sector. Rajshahi Silk Industry and Factory Labourers' Union represents the workers in the silk industry.
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