Jute bags now compulsory for 90% packaging of food grains
The government has decided to make jute packaging compulsory for 90 per cent food grains and 20 per cent sugar produced during the current jute year (1st July 2015 to 30th June, 2016) subject to availability of the packaging material.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on December 9, approved the mandatory use of jute in packaging with the stipulation that in the first instance, the indents for the whole requirement would be placed for jute bags, according to an official statement.
In case the jute mills are not be able to provide jute bags as requisitioned, then the Department of Food & Public Distribution would be permitted to fulfill 10 per cent of its need from the market, the statement said.
Exemptions from the order under the Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory use in Packing Commodities) Act, 1987 (JPM Act) include sugar packed for export but which could not be exported, sugar fortified with vitamins, packing for export of commodities, consumer packs of 10 kgs and below for food grains and 25 kgs and below for sugar and bulk packing of more than 100 kgs.
The Ministry of Textiles may further relax the provisions for reservation upto a maximum of 30 per cent of the foodgrains, over and above the norms prescribed, the release said.
The CCEA also directed that jute bags be used for packaging food grains in consumer packs between 10 kgs and 25 kgs subject to such bags being cost competitive as compared to HDPE/PP bags factoring in the subsidy/reimbursement provided by the government for packing foodgrains.
With a view to reducing the cost of jute bags all future orders of the Government shall be for lighter weight bags of 580 and 600 gms subject to conformity with relevant BIS standards.
The decision is expected to directly benefit to 3.7 lakh workers employed in jute mills and ancillary units as well as support the livelihood of around 40 lakh farm families. Besides, it will help to protect the environment because jute is natural, biodegradable and reusable fibre.
Under the Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory use in Packing Commodities) Act, 1987 (JPM Act), the Government is required to consider and provide for the compulsory use of jute packaging material in the supply and distribution of certain commodities in the interest of production of raw jute and jute packaging material and of persons engaged in the production thereof and for matters connected therewith. (SH)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India