The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved extension of mandatory packaging norms of foodgrains and sugar in jute material for Jute Year 2017-18 (i.e. July 2017 to June 2018).
The mandatory extension was approved under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987. The approval mandates that 90% of food grains and 20% of sugar products shall be mandatorily packed in jute bags.
The decision also mandates, in first instance, entire requirement for packing of food grains will be placed in jute bags. Thus it makes provision for 100% packing of food grains in jute bags subject to ability of jute industry to meet the requirement. The decision will also help to sustain core demand for jute sector and support livelihood of the workers and farmers dependent on the sector.
The provision of mandatory packaging will benefit jute farmers and workers in jute industry located in Eastern and North Eastern regions of country particularly in West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura.
Jute industry is predominantly dependent on Government sector which purchases jute products more than Rs. 5,500 crore every year. Government has been making concerted efforts for the development of jute sector considering that nearly 3.7 lakh workers and approximately 40 lakh farmers are dependent for their livelihood on jute sectors. Government is also making concerted efforts for development of jute sector. It is increasing quality and productivity of raw jute, diversification of jute sector and also boosting and sustaining demand for jute product.