Cabinet Gives Nod to Extend Norms for Mandatory Packaging in Jute Materials
The Union Cabinet approved the extension of norms for mandatory packaging in jute materials.
”The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accorded its approval for mandatory packaging of food grains and sugar in jute material for the Jute Year 2019-20,” an official statement said.
The Government has retained the scope of mandatory packaging norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987 as per last year. The decision of the Cabinet mandates that 100% of the food grains and 20% of the sugar shall be mandatorily packed in diversified jute bags.
”The decision to pack sugar in diversified jute bags will give an impetus to the diversification of the jute industry. Further, the decision also mandates that initially 10% of the indents of jute bags for packing food grains would be placed through reverse auction on the GeM portal. This will gradually usher in a regime of price discovery,” it said.
The approval will benefit farmers and workers located in the Eastern and North Eastern regions of the country particularly in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura.
”Nearly 3.7 lakh workers and several lakh farm families are dependent for their livelihood on the jute sectors. The government has been making concerted efforts for the development of jute sector; increasing the quality and productivity of raw jute, diversification of jute sector and also boosting and sustaining demand for jute products,” the statement further said.
The jute industry is predominantly dependent on the Government sector which purchases jute bags of value of more than Rs. 7,500 crore every year for packing food grains. This is done in order to sustain the core demand for the jute sector and to support the livelihood of the workers and farmers dependent on the sector.
”With a view to supporting the diversification of jute sector, the National Jute Board has collaborated with National Institute of Design and a Jute Design Cell has been opened at Gandhinagar. Further, the promotion of Jute Geo Textiles and Agro-Textiles has been taken up with the State Governments particularly those in the North Eastern region and also with departments such as Ministry of Road Transport and Ministry of Water Resources,” the statement added.