Indian Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved to expand the scope of mandatory packaging standards under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987.
The CCEA approved mandatory packaging for 100% of the food grains and 20% of the sugar in diversified jute bags.
The decision to pack sugar in diversified jute bags is expected to give an impulsion to the diversification of the jute industry.
It is planned to place reverse auction on the Gem portal for the indents of jute bags for packing 10% of food grains. The decision is anticipated to help the development of jute sector in increasing the quality and productivity of raw jute, diversification of jute sector along with increasing demand for jute products.
The government has been making intensive efforts since it is considered that nearly 3.7 lakh workers and several lakh farm families are dependent on the jute industry for their livelihood.
The government mostly purchases jute bags more than worth Rs6,500cr for food grains packaging in order to sustain the demand for the jute sector and to support the livelihood of the workers dependent on the sector.
The CCEA’s decision will benefit farmers and workers in the Eastern and North Eastern regions of the country predominantly in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura.
Through Jute ICARE, a carefully designed intervention designed to improve productivity and quality of raw jute. Nearly one lakh jute farmers are supported by the Government in spreading improved agronomic practices such as line sowing using seed drills, weed management by using wheel-hoeing and nail-weeders, distribution of quality certified seeds and also providing microbial assisted retting.
These interventions have resulted in enhancing the quality and productivity of raw jute and increasing income of jute farmers by Rs. 10,000 per hectare.
Jute Corporation of India (JCI) was granted of Rs100cr for 2 years from 2018-19 to support jute farmers and help JCI in MSP operations along with price stabilization in the jute sector.
To promote transparency in jute sector, an e-govt initiative – Jute SMART was launched in 2016. It provides an integrated platform for obtaining of B-Twill sacking by Government agencies. Apart from this, the JCI is transferring 100% funds to jute farmers online for jute procurement under MSP and commercial operations.