The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 3 January 2018 approved mandatory packaging of foodgrains and sugar in the jute material for the Jute Year 2017-18. The Jute Year 2017-18 period is from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.
The above decision of the Cabinet is aimed at sustaining the core demand for the jute sector and supporting the livelihood of the workers and farmers dependent on the sector.
Mandatory packaging of foodgrains in Jute Materials
• CCEA approved the mandatory packaging norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987.
• The approval mandates that 90 per cent of the food grains and 20 per cent of the sugar products shall be mandatorily packed in jute bags.
• It's provision for 100 per cent packing of food grains in jute bags is subjected to the ability of the jute industry to meet the requirement.
• The decision will benefit farmers and workers located in the Eastern and North Eastern regions of the country in West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura.
Indian Jute industry
• Indian Jute industry is largely dependent on Government which purchases jute products costing more than Rs 5500 crore every year.
• Considering that nearly 3.7 lakh workers and approximately 40 lakh farmers are dependent for their livelihood on the jute sectors, the government has been making efforts for the development of 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 5 January 2017.
• The imposition of Definitive Anti Dumping Duty has benefitted 20000 workers in Andhra Pradesh and provided scope for an additional demand of 2 lakh MT of jute goods in the Indian jute industry.
• Government also launched 'Jute ICARE' initiative to improve the productivity and quality of raw jute.
• To support jute farmers, Jute Corporation of India (JCI) has been given a grant of Rs 204 crore for 4 years starting from 2014-15 to enable JCI to ensure price stabilization in the jute sector.
• Promotion of Jute Geo Textiles and Agro-Textiles has been taken up with the state governments particularly in the North Eastern region.
• In order to promote transparency in jute sector, 'Jute SMART' initiative was launched in December 2016.
When: 3 January 2018