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Indian govt takes steps to strengthen jute sector
25
Feb '15
After holding review meetings with various stakeholders, India’s ministry of textiles has initiated several steps to strengthen the jute sector.
 
The key decisions taken by Minister of State for Textiles (I/C) Santosh Kumar Gangwar include utilising unused assets of closed mills to generate employment. The ministry decided to utilise the unused assets, such as land, of the three closed mills of National Jute Manufactures Corporation Limited (NJMC) for economic activities.
 
With focus on generating employment, the textiles ministry shall consider activities like setting up apparel park or textile hub on such land. The Government of West Bengal has been requested to support this initiative, while PricewaterhouseCoopers has been engaged to prepare the roadmap, according to an official press release.
 
Secondly, NJMC shall invite entrepreneurs to run Kinnison, Khardah and RBHM jute mills through licence route.
 
The textiles ministry also decided to heighten focus on diversified products. It said the National Jute Board (NJB) will intensify development and promotion of diversified jute products. It will lay particular emphasis on training women’s Self Help Groups, including that of groups of Tiger widows in the Sundarban.
 
For product diversification, the ministry will take help of reputed R&D institutes such as IIT Kharagpur, NITRA and IJIRA. It has already roped in National Institute of Design to assist in the development of new designs and for setting up of state-of-art design centre for shopping bags and other jute lifestyle products.
 
Stating that feminine hygiene products and low-cost carry bags hold a lot of promise, the ministry said that efforts to commercialise them would be speeded up, and all state governments would be requested to support the marketing of such products. 
 
On provision of housing for jute mill workers, the ministry said it would support collaborative schemes to provide standard housing, and has requested the Government of West Bengal also to participate.
 
Finally, the ministry said it is making all-out efforts to persuade state governments to order more jute sacking to boost demand. It has requested the West Bengal government to procure jute sacking for packaging of paddy/rice and of potatoes/ vegetables. (RKS)
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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