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Need for re-look at National Jute Policy - Thiru. Maran
Oct '09
Thiru. Dayanidhi Maran, Union Minister of Textiles has emphasized the need for a relook at the National Jute Policy due to changed scenario. While interacting with the representatives of Jute Industry here today, Thiru Maran said that the Textiles Ministry has constituted a Working Group for formulation of National Fibre Policy with a SubGroup on Jute Sector. He urged all the stakeholders to examine and consider all the aspects of jute economy and come out with a suggestion for a long term holistic policy which will help in growth and development of jute sector.

The Textiles Minister informed that the Government had announced the National Jute Policy in 2005 and since then the Jute Sector, which had settled supply capacity, had changed to shortages. The demand of jute sacks by foodgrain procurement agencies which used to be around 15 lakh bales per year about 2 years ago have since risen to 2425 lakh bales per year, and the Ministry has been receiving a number of representations from the State Governments regarding inability of jute industry to meet its supply commitments.

Thiru Maran urged the jute industry to develop new generation, cost competitive and performanceeffective jute and jute blended products through up gradation of spinning and weaving technology with diversification of product mix towards value added items. Besides, attention may be directed towards promotion of packaging material for conventional and new end uses with emphasis on biodegradable and ecofriendly attributes of jute as a natural fibre so that the jute industry does not depend primarily on mandatory packaging. There is a also very large potential for expanding the use of food grade jute bags for packing various food products like cocoa beans, coffee beans, shelled nuts within India and abroad, Thiru. Maran added.

The Textiles Minister said that the Jute Industry has to modernize if they have to produce jute of high quality and at reasonable price. Under the MiniMissionIV of JTM, Rs. 28 Crore has been provided for development of modernized machinery, and Rs 80 Crore are to be provided for subsidy to mills acquiring new and modernized machinery. I understand, there is a bottleneck in the scheme for acquisition of machinery, that is, the Cap on Subsidy. I have taken up the matter with Ministry of Finance to raise the subsidy from Rs. 70 lakh to Rs. 3.5 crore per mill and I hope that Finance Ministry will take positive decision on our proposal said Thiru. Maran.

Thiru. Maran said that the Government has already sanctioned 7 jute parks, but these parks have not taken off because of problems in transfer of land from promoter to the SPVs. He urged the State Government of West Bengal to expedite the process so that said jute parks can be developed sanctioned expeditiously.

The Textiles Minister said that the Market Yards and Departmental Purchase Centres being developed under the MiniMission III of Jute Technology Mission will help to reduce the transaction costs in marketing of raw jute by the farmers to the mills. Two such Market Yards Chapadanga (West Bengal) & Kharupetia (Assam) have already been completed and inaugurated and another two at Bethwadori and Karimpur in Nadia districts of West Bengal. Besides, three Departmental Purchase Centres (DPC) at Karanojor and Katwa in West Bengal and Kalibor in Assam will be completed in the current financial year, said Thiru. Maran.

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