The Government has approved mandatory packaging of 100 per cent food grains and 20 pc sugar in diversified jutebags for the the Jute Year 2023-24, a release said.
The reservation norms in present proposal would further protect the interest of domestic production of raw jute and jute packaging material in India, thereby, making India self-reliant in consonance with Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
Reservation for packaging in jute packaging material consumed around 65% of the raw jute produced in the country (in 2022-23). By bringing into effect the provision of JPM Act, the Government will provide relief to 4 lakh workers employed in jute mills and ancillary units as well as support the livelihood of around 40 lakh farm families. Besides, it will help protect environment because jute is natural, bio- degradable, renewable and reusable fibre and hence fulfils all sustainability parameters, the release said.
The Jute industry occupies an important place in the national economy of India in general and Eastern Region in particular i.e., West Bengal, Bihar, Odisa, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It is one of the major industries in the eastern region, particularly in West Bengal.
The reservations norms under JPM Act provide for direct employment to 4 lakh workers and 40 lakh farmers in the Jute Sector. JPM Act, 1987 protects interest of Jute farmers, workers and persons engaged in jute goods’ production. 75% of the total production of the Jute Industry is Jute Sacking Bags of which 85% is supplied to the Food Corporation of India (FCl) and State Procurement Agencies (SPAs) and remaining is exported/sold directly.
Government of India purchases Jute sacking bags worth approximately Rs. 12,000 crore every year for packing of foodgrains, hence ensures guaranteed market for the produce of Jute Farmers and Workers.
Average Production of Jute Sacking Bags is about 30 lakhs bales (9 lakh MT) and Government is committed to ensure complete off-take of the sacking production of the jute bags in order to protect the interest of Jute farmers, workers and persons engaged in the Jute Industry.
This article has been republished from The Business Standard.