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India approves mandatory packaging of foodgrain products in jute bags

The Indian Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has extended the mandatory packaging of foodgrains and sugar products in jute bags.

The extension of the mandatory packaging norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987, allows 90% of foodgrains and 20% of sugar products to be mandatorily packed in jute bags for the Jute Year 2017-18, which is from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.

The decision is expected to benefit farmers and workers located in the Eastern and North Eastern regions of the country particularly in West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura in addition to boosting jute industry.

In addition to helping in sustaining the core demand for the jute sector, the decision is expected to support the livelihood of the workers and farmers dependent on the sector, the government said.

The government said in a statement: "The decision also mandates, in the first instance, the entire requirement for packing of food grains would be placed in jute bags thus, making a provision for 100% packing of food grains in jute bags subject to the ability of the jute industry to meet the requirement.”

In order to support the jute industry, the government has also imposed definitive anti dumping duty on jute goods which are imported from Bangladesh and Nepal, effective from 5 January 2017.