Jute industry is one of the major industries providing direct employment to 3.70 lakh workers in organized mills including tertiary sector and allied activities, around 2.00 lakh in Jute Diversified Product (JDP) – MSME sector and also supports the livelihood of several lakh farm families.
The Government of India has taken a number of steps by implementation of various schemes for providing support to the jute farmers and jute mill workers. The details of which are as follows:
- JUTE –ICARE (Jute: Improved Cultivation And Advanced Retting Exercise):-National Jute Board (NJB) has been implementing Jute-ICARE (Improved Cultivation and Advanced Retting Exercise) programme since 2015-16 in association with Jute Corporation of India Ltd. (JCI) and Central Research Institute for Jute & Allied Fibres, (CRIJAF), Ministry of Agriculture. The programme provides package of scientific methods for jute cultivation and retting exercises which include (i) Registration of farmers (ii) Supply of HYV certified jute seeds (iii) Mechanical interventions like : seed driller for line sowing, Nail / Cycle weeders for de-weeding (iv) Retting accelerators like : CRIJAF Sona, NINFET Sathi for faster retting and better quality. under this scheme,since 2015-16, a total of 3.00 lakh farmers have been supported (covering an area of 1.25 lakh hectare) and a 2,650 MT of Certified jute seeds, 4150 seed drill machines, 4950 nail weeder machines and 3034 MT of CRIJAF SONA/ NINFET SATHI have been distributed.
- Evaluation of Pilot Project on Improved Cultivation and Advanced Retting Exercise (ICARE) was carried out by the National Productivity Council (NPC) for the National Jute Board. As per the report, the ICARE intervention has resulted in increase in income for farmers by about Rs. 10,000 per hectare, productivity by 15% and quality of raw jute by 1 grade.
- Workers’ Welfare Scheme (SulabhSauchalaya): NJB has been providing assistance@90% of actual expenses subject to maximum of Rs. 60.00 lakh (per mill/annum) for construction of sanitation facilities for jute mill workers. Under this scheme, since 2014-15, a total of 1445 Toilet units have been constructed in 46Jute Mills.
- Scholarship Scheme for the girl children of the workers of jute mills, MSMEs : NJB has been providing Scholarship / Incentive support to the girl children of the workers of JuteMills / JDP – MSME units on passing out secondary and higher secondary examinations.Since 2014-15, Scholarship / Incentive of Rs. 18.36 croreshas been given to 24,913 girl children.
- Support to the jute growers: The Government of India is committed to ensure that jute growers receive Minimum Support Price (MSP) whenever the market price falls below MSP. Jute Corporation of India (JCI), a PSU under Ministry of Textiles, is the nodal agency to undertake support price operation for raw jute directly from the farmers. JCI has been mandated to purchase raw jute whatever quantity is offered by the farmers at MSP. Since, the market price of raw jute has been ruling over the MSP price during the last few years, therefore there has been minimal procurement by the JCI under MSP. The MSP announced by Govt. of India during the last several years is given below:-
|Year||MSP of TDN3 grade of raw jute(Rs./Quintal)||% increase over previous year|
#TDN3 basis instead of TD5 basis as per the recommendation of CACP, Govt. of India from the crop year 2015-16 and no. of grades has been reduced from 8 grades (TD1-TD8) to 5grades(TDN1–TDN5).
- Support to the jute mill workers: The Government of India has decided to continue Jute Packaging Material (Compulsory Use in Packing Commodities) Act, 1987. Through this act, every year, Centre Government specifies the commodities and the extent to which they are mandatorily required to be packed in Jute Packaging Materials. The total purchase as per the directions issued under the JPM Act currently constitutes about 70% of the total production of jute goods and 88% of the total production of sacking. The jute industry has been receiving steady order in every month to keep their mills running and hence has assisted in sustenance of employment of jute mill workers.
The Government has developed an end-to-end web-based platform for procurement, inspection, dispatch of jute bags to State Procurement Agencies/Food Corporation of India (SPAs/FCI)& payment to jute mills which is transparent, rule based, simple to use and real time. The software application known as “Jute-SMART” launched in November, 2016 is a Jute Sacking Supply Management & Requisition Tool. Through this software, different SPAs/FCI are procuring around 27.00 to 30.00 lakh bales (70.0% of the total production of jute goods) of jute bags annually which amounts to about Rs.7,000 to 7,800 crores.The smooth purchase of jute bags through this platform has helped in prompt payment to jute mills and in-turn to the jute mill workers. This has made a time consuming complex operation easier to perform thereby removing hindrances in production and supply of jute bags.
This information was given in a written reply by the Minister of State for Textiles Smt. Darshana Jardosh in Lok Sabha.