The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday extended the mandatory packaging of food grains and sugar products in jute bags for the year ending June 2018.
The move 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,” said the statement.
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 for the Indian jute industry.