India – Jute Industry Seeks Mandatory Packaging for Foodgrains and Sugar

Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) requested the Standing Advisory Committee (SAC) that 100 per cent mandatory packaging should be ensured by the SAC for both foodgrains and sugar under the JPM Act.

IJMA pointed out that compared to 2012-13 there was a decline in the use of jute material for packing under JPM Act in 2013-14, according to a Press statement.

However, the Indian Sugar Mills Association requested the SAC to completely remove sugar from reservation under the JPM Act and reservation, if any, be restricted to foodgrains only.

The Director General of IJMA made a detailed presentation before the SAC indicating that the JPM Act, 1987 was formulated in the interest of production of raw jute and jute packaging material and of the people engaged in the entire production process.

He also stated that 115 lakh bales of raw jute are expected to be available in the country in the jute year 2014-15 and about 18 lakh tons can be supplied under the JPM Act.

He also stated that jute industry pays about 41 per cent more average wages than other textile industries in West Bengal. India exported $340 million worth of jute products in the year 2013-14 and jute adds to the environmental value because it is a natural fibre, bio-degradable, renewable and eco-friendly.

The Indian Jute Mills Association submitted that four million farmers’ families grow raw jute in the eastern and north-eastern states of India. Raw jute contributes to the requirement of food, fuel and building material of rural India and about 3.7 lakh workmen and others are engaged in the jute industry.

The principal secretary, department of food, Government of West Bengal supported 100 per cent mandatory packaging both for foodgrains and sugar.