Relief For Jute Sector

jute sectorThe ailing jute sector has received a shot in the arm from the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Labour on demands for grants of textile ministry as its second report has opposed dilution in jute packaging.

The development brings some confidence among the jute industry that involves 300,000 workers and 40 lakh farmers in West Bengal alone.

“The second report submitted recently with the Parliament is against dilution of the Jute Packaging Act.” A finance ministry note in November to the textile ministry had recommended dilution and a full phase-out of the Act within next two years.

“…In view of the fact that jute is one of the important foreign exchange earners and all over the world only India and Bangladesh are producing jute, the Committee impressed upon the ministry to continue according greater attention to this sector…,” Mr. Tapan Kumar Sen, a committee member said.

This was done “so as to effectively safeguard the interest of the jute workers and growers and promote the jute industry in a big way and not to dilute the provisions of reservation as contained in The Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory) Use in Packaging Commodities) Act, 1987, the standing committee has noted in its report.

West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee had recently shot off a letter to the textile minister urging not to dilute the Jute Packaging Act while highlighting the direct impact of such a step on the 43 lakh people in the state whose livelihood depends on the sector. She had stated Rs 8,000 crore would be sucked out from the state, hurting the economy.

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