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PM's support expected in BTwill bag price increase
04
Jan '10
The Bengal Jute industry is optimistic about receiving support from the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh regarding fulfilling its demand for higher B. Twill bag prices. In this regard, a recommendation has been made by the Central Government's Tariff Commission, but it has not been implemented yet. B. Twill bags are exclusively used for packing rice and wheat.

As per the Chairman of the Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA), Mr. Sanjay Kajaria, the Bengal Chief Minister, Mr. Buddhadeb Bhattacharya took up this issue with the PM out of which positive developments are expected.

Mr. Bhattacharya urged the PM to convince textile ministry regarding the need to generate a firm and long-term policy on jute in a bid to protect it from competition from synthetic industry and facilitate exports.

More than 1.5 million tons of B. Twill bags are purchased annually by the government and various state agencies. As per the industry, government's outdated system of calculating the pricing formula for the bags affects the industry forcing it to lose over Rs. 3 billion since 2001. The implementation of the Tariff Commission's recommendation is essential to stop the deadlock in the industry.

Demanding the implementations of the owners' statutory obligations such as regularization of Provident Fund and the payment of arrears, the trade unions have staged an indefinite strike since December 14. This strike has impacted above 200,000 workers of the industry. Industry leaders say that a few of trade unions' demands could be met, if the government gives its nod to higher prices for B. Twill bags.

In a bid to end the deadlock in the industry, five tripartite meetings have been conducted with the unions, wherein the owners insisted the implementation of Tariff Commission's recommendations on higher bag prices, so that, they could pay more wages to the workers.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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