March 2018
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Govt extends compulsory jute packaging for foodgrains, sugar
New Delhi, Jan 3 (PTI) The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today extended the mandatory packaging of foodgrains and sugar products in jute bags for the year ending June 2018.

"This decision mandating 90 per cent of food grains and 20 per cent sugar products to be packed in jute bags will benefit nearly 3.7 lakh workers and 40 lakh farmers," Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani tweeted.

She said the Jute mill workers will not be deprived of their statutory dues as a special mechanism will be set up in consultation with state governments to link production control and supply order to ensure timely payment.

"Underlining the importance of diversification of jute industry, emphasis will be given to diversification by incentivising use of jute geo-textiles and promoting jute as eco-friendly fibre both in domestic and global markets," Irani said in a tweet.

The decision will help sustain the core demand for the jute sector and support the livelihood of the workers and farmers dependent on the sector in eastern and north-eastern regions of the country particularly in West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura.

"The CCEA has extended the mandatory packaging norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987," an official statement said.

As per the norms, it is compulsory to pack 90 per cent of foodgrains and 20 per cent of sugar products in jute bags.

The decision also mandates, in the first instance, the entire requirement for packing of foodgrains would be placed in jute bags thus, making a provision for 100 per cent packing of foodgrains in jute bags subject to the ability of the jute industry to meet the requirement, the statement added.

Jute industry is predominantly dependent on government, which purchases jute products worth more than Rs 5,500 crore every year.

Considering nearly 3.7 lakh workers and approximately 40 lakh farmers are dependent for their livelihood on the jute sector, the government said it has been making concerted efforts for the development of the jute sector.

With a view to boost demand in the jute sector, government has imposed Definitive Anti Dumping Duty on import of jute goods from Bangladesh and Nepal with effect from January 5, 2017, which has provided scope for additional demand of 2 lakh MT of jute goods in the domestic market.

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