Odisha Current Affairs - 2020

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Cabinet approves extension of norms for mandatory packaging in jute materials

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has accorded its approval for mandatory packaging of foodgrains and sugar in jute material for Jute Year 2019-20. The scope of mandatory packaging norms under Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987 has been retained by Union Government as per 2018.

Cabinet decision mandates that 100% of food grains and 20% of sugar shall be mandatorily packed in diversified jute bags. The decision also mandates that initially 10% of indents of jute bags for packing foodgrains would be placed through reverse auction on Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal. The move will gradually usher in a regime of price discovery.

Significance

The packaging of sugar in diversified jute bags will give an impetus to diversification of jute industry. Moreover, the approval will benefit farmers and workers located in Eastern and North Eastern regions of India particularly in West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Bihar, Meghalaya, Tripura and Andhra Pradesh.

Jute Industry in India

About 3.7 lakh workers and several lakh farm families are dependent for their livelihood on jute sectors.  Thus government has been making efforts for development of jute sector; increasing quality and productivity of raw jute, boosting/sustaining demand for jute products and diversification of jute sector.

Indian jute industry is predominantly dependent on Government sector which purchases jute bags of value of over Rs.7,500 crore every year for packing food grains. This is also done in order to sustain core demand for  jute sector and to support livelihood of workers and farmers dependent on sector.

Government Support provided to Jute Sector:

To improve productivity and quality of raw jute government launched a carefully designed intervention, called Jute ICARE (Jute Improved Cultivation and Advanced Retting Exercise) in January 2015. Under it Government has supported about 3 lakh jute farmers by disseminating improved agronomic practices and interventions, which have resulted in enhancing quality and productivity of raw jute and increasing income of jute farmers by Rs.10,000/hectare.

To support jute farmers, a grant of subsidy of Rs. 100 crore for 2 years starting from 2018-19 has been approved to enable Jute Corporation of India Limited (JCI) to conduct Minimum Support Price (MSP) operations and ensure price stabilization in the jute sector. Moreover, JCI is transferring 100% funds to jute farmers online for jute procurement under MSP and commercial operations.

To support diversification of jute sector, National Jute Board in collaboration with National Institute of Design and has opened Jute Design Cell at Gandhinagar. The government has also taken up the promotion of Jute Geo Textiles and Agro-Textiles with State Governments particularly those in North Eastern region and also with departments like Ministry of Road Transport and Ministry of Water Resources.

To promote transparency in jute sector, government launched Jute SMART, an e-govt initiative in December 2016. It provides an integrated platform for procurement of B-Twill sacking by Government agencies.

Union Government has also imposed Definitive Anti-Dumping Duty on import of jute goods from Bangladesh and Nepal with effect from 5 January 2017, to boost demand in the jute sector.

National Tribal Craft Mela- 2019 being held in Bhubaneswar

Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the 8th National Tribal Craft Mela at State Tribal Museum Complex in Bhubaneswar. The seven-day long event will be opened for public from 2.00 PM to 8.00 PM every day from 23 to 29 November.

As a part of Odisha Government’s ‘5Ts’ initiative, (which is aimed at achieving progress through Transparency, Teamwork, Technology, Time and Transformation) 45 Supplementary Readers prepared in 21 Tribal languages were released simultaneously by Chief Minister on the occasion of Tribal Mela. These supplementary Readers will be used as Learning Materials for Multi-Lingual Education (MLE) of Scheduled Tribe (ST) Students.

About National Tribal Craft Mela- 2019

Objective: The National Tribal Crafts Mela is held annually with an aim to preserve, promote and popularize traditional tribal art and crafts and help the artisans to look for better opportunities to develop their skills through cross-cultural interactions for the commercial viability of their products.

Participants: Over 240 tribal artisans from 18 States like Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Manipur, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telengana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand including Odisha are participating. Both Government and Non- Government Organizations such as TRIFED, TDCC (Tribal Development Co-operative Corporation), OTDC (Odisha Tourism Development Corporation), World Act, Anwesha, SCSTRTI (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Research and Training Institute) and ATLC are also participating in Mela.

Exhibit: Handicraft items, handloom products, iron, lacquer craft, tribal jewellery, dhokra, bamboo products, puppets, sabai and siali crafts, tribal textiles and embroidery work, tribal paintings as well as many more tribal products will be put on display by these tribal artisans.