Union Cabinet clears reservation norms for mandatory use of jute in packaging

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, headed by PM Modi, mandated 100 percent use of jute bags for packaging foodgrains and 20 percent for sugar, bringing relief to 3,70,000 jute workers

Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur addresses a press conference after the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. @PIB_India

The Narendra Modi Cabinet on Wednesday approved the reservation norms for mandatory use of jute for packaging purposes for 2021 -22 under the JPM Act, 1987. The move is likely to bring relief to as many as 3,70,000 workers employed in jute mills and ancillary units.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, mandated 100 percent use of jute bags for packaging foodgrains and 20 percent for sugar.

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“The reservation norms in present proposal would further protect the interest of domestic production of raw jute and jute packaging material in lndia, thereby making India self-reliant in consonance with Aatmnirbhar Bharat,” said the government in a press statement.

In 2020-21, reservation for packaging in jute material consumed around 66.57 percent of the raw jute produced in the country.

“By bringing into effect the provision of JPM Act, the government will provide relief to 3.7 lakh workers employed in jute mills and ancillary units as well as support the livelihood of around 40 lakh farmers’ families. Besides, it will help protect environment because jute is natural, bio- degradable, renewable and reusable fibre and hence fulfills all sustainability parameters,” added the statement.

The jute industry occupies an important place in the national economy in general and particularly the eastern region comprising West Bengal, Bihar, Odisa, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

“Of the total production of the jute industry, 75 percent is demarcated for jute sacks. Of this, 90 percent is supplied to the Food Corporation of India (FCl) and State Procurement Agencies (SPAs) while the remaining is exported or sold directly,” said the statement.

The government purchases jute bags worth approximately Rs 8,000 crore every year for packaging foodgrains, ensuring guaranteed market for the produce of jute farmers.

“Average production of jute bags is about 30 lakhs bales (9 lakh MT) and the government is committed to ensure complete off-take of the production of the jute bags in order to protect the interest of the farmers, workers and others engaged in the jute industry,” it added.

With inputs from PTI

 



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