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CCEA approves mandatory use of jute in packaging
Dec '13
In pursuance of the Jute Packaging Material Act, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved mandatory use of jute in packaging for the jute year 2013-14, which runs from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.
As per the approval, packaging of 90 percent of the production of foodgrains and 20 percent of the production of sugar in the jute packaging material for the jute year 2013-14 is mandatory, with the following exemptions: 
(i) Sugar packed for export, but which could not be exported may be exempted from the operation of the Order on the basis of an assessment by and request of the Department of Food and Public Distribution. For such exemptions, separate guidelines will be prepared. 
(ii) The following will be out of the purview of the reservation: Sugar fortified with Vitamins; Packaging for export of the commodities; Small consumer packs of 25 kg and below; and Bulk packaging of more than 100 kg.
(iii) In case of any shortage or disruption in supply of jute packaging material or in other contingency/exigency, the Ministry of Textiles will, in consultation with user ministries concerned, relax these provisions further, up to a maximum of 30 percent of the production of foodgrains over and above the provisions mentioned above. 
The CCEA approval is expected to provide relief to 370,000 workers employed in jute mills and ancillary units as well as support the livelihood of around 4 million farm families. Besides, it will help protect the environment as jute is a 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. 
Under the JPM Act, sugar mills in the country were mandated to use only jute bags for packing sugar. But, in view of availability of cheaper packaging alternatives, especially from the plastics industry, and also due to the jute mills often failing to supply bags to sugar mills on time, the act was relaxed by the Government of India for the first time in December 2012, which led to a decrease in demand for jute.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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