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PACKAGING

CCEA gives nod to mandatory packaging of food grains and sugar in jute
Friday, 05 January, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by prime minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for mandatory packaging of food grains and sugar in the jute material for Jute Year 2017-18.

The decision would sustain the core demand for the jute sector and support the livelihood of the workers and farmers dependent on the sector. The Jute Year 2017-18 period is between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.

Features
  • CCEA has extended the mandatory packaging norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987
  • The approval mandated that 90 per cent of the food grains and 20 per cent of the sugar products shall be mandatorily packed in jute bags
  • The decision also mandated, in the first instance, the entire requirement for packing of food grains would be placed in jute bags, thus making a provision for 100 per cent packing of food grains in jute bags subject to the ability of the jute industry to meet the requirement
Impact
The decision will benefit farmers and workers located in the eastern and north-eastern regions of the country, particularly in West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura.

Measures taken by govt to give boost to jute industry
Jute industry is predominantly dependent on the government sector, which purchases jute products worth more than Rs 5,500 crore every year.

Considering that nearly 3.7 lakh workers and approximately 40 lakh farmers are dependent for their livelihood on the jute sector, the government has been making concerted efforts for the development of the same, increasing the quality and productivity of raw jute, diversification of the jute sector and boosting and sustaining the demand for jute products.

These include the following:
With a view to boosting the demand in the jute sector, the government of India has imposed definitive anti-dumping duty on import of jute goods from Bangladesh and Nepal with effect from January 5, 2017. As a result of these measures, 13 twine mills in Andhra Pradesh resumed operation, benefiting 20,000 workers. Further, the imposition of definitive anti-dumping duty has provided scope for an additional demand of two lakh metic tonne (MT) of jute goods in the domestic market for the Indian jute industry.

In order to improve the productivity and quality of raw jute through a carefully-designed intervention, called the Jute ICARE, the government has been supporting close to one lakh jute farmers by disseminating improved agronomic practices such as line sowing using seed drills, weed management by using wheel-hoeing and nail-weeders, distribution of quality certified seeds and also providing microbial assisted retting. These interventions have resulted in enhancing the quality and productivity of raw jute and increasing the incomes of jute farmers by Rs 10,000 per hectare.

In order to support jute farmers, the Jute Corporation of India (JCI) has been given a grant of Rs 204 crore for four years, starting from 2014-15 to enable JCI to conduct minimum support price (MSP) operations and ensure price stabilisation in the jute sector.

With a view to supporting the diversification of the jute sector, the National Jute Board has collaborated with National Institute of Design and a Jute Design Cell has been opened in Gandhinagar.

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 the ministry of road transport and the ministry of water resources.

In order to promote transparency in the jute sector, Jute SMART, an e-government initiative, was launched in 2016 to provide an integrated platform for the procurement of B-twill sacking by government agencies. Further, JCI is transferring 100 per cent funds to jute farmers online on the jute procurement under MSP and commercial operations.
 
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