The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved reservation norms for mandatory use of jute in packaging for the Jute Year 2021-22.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs took the decision during its meeting under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The mandatory packaging norms approved for Jute Year 2021-22 (July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022) provide for 100% reservation of the foodgrains and 20% of sugar to be compulsorily packed in jute bags.
The reservation norms in the present proposal would further protect the interest of domestic production of raw jute and jute packaging material in lndia while making India self-reliant in consonance with Aatmnirbhar Bharat.
Reservation for packaging in jute packaging material consumed around 66.57% of the raw jute produced in the country (in 2020-21).
“By bringing into effect the provision of JPM Act, the Government will provide relief to 0.37 million workers employed in jute mills and ancillary units as well as support the livelihood of around 4.0 million farm families,” the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) said in a statement.
“Besides, it will help protect environment because jute is natural, bio-degradable, renewable and reusable fibre and hence fulfills all sustainability parameters,” it added.
“The jute industry occupies an important place in the national economy of India in general and the eastern region in particular i.e. West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana,” CCEA stated.
It is one of the major industries in the eastern region, particularly in West Bengal.
The reservations norms under JPM Act provide for direct employment to 0.37 million workers and 4 million farmers in the jute sector.
JPM Act, 1987 protects the interest of Jute farmers, workers and persons engaged in jute goods’ production.
75% of the total production of the jute industry is jute sacking bags of which 90% is supplied to the Food Corporation of India (FCl) and State Procurement Agencies (SPAs) and remaining is exported/sold directly
The Government of India purchases Jute sacking bags worth approximately Rs. 8,000 crore every year for packing of foodgrains, hence ensures a guaranteed market for the produce of jute farmers and workers.
The average production of jute sacking bags is about 30 lakhs bales (9 lakh MT) and the government is committed to ensuring a complete off-take of the sacking production of the jute bags in order to protect the interest of Jute farmers, workers and persons engaged in the Jute Industry.