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Standoff between Govt & jute sector over supplies
Apr '10
The Centre has strongly objected to the jute industry's non-cooperation towards meeting the fixed quota of jute bags, during the Rabi season and further for ignoring their requests for the same in the coming Khariff season.

A couple of days back, during a meeting held at the Union Textile Ministry, textile minister, Dayanidhi Maran was informed about the same by the office of the Jute Commissioner. More so, as per this information, 51 jute mills have failed to supply jute sackings to the Food Corporation of India during Rabi season.

The jute industry was given orders to supply 104,000 bales of jute sacks for the Rabi season, after they pressed their case with the Union government, highlighting their problems of shortage of government orders. This order was never met with by the industry.

The report, sent by the Union Textile Ministry to the Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA), the body representing the industry, indicates, the government's resentment to place fresh orders, until they are supplied the old order, at a price fixed during the Rabi season.

According to IJMA officials, the defaulters, ignored government's order and sold their product in the market as it fetched them a better price. However, now the industry is in a fix, as it is dependent on government for its produce.

During the off-season, raw jute prices have touched a high of Rs 31,000 per tonne, and the current price of the sackings is Rs 47,000 per tonne.

Apart from refusing to call for any meetings to fix the price and quota of jute sackings for the Khariff season, government has also asked the industry to supply sackings at the contracted price of Rs 31,000 per tonne.

Jute industry is already facing periodic crisis and if the government continues to tighten its attitude towards the industry, then the jute industry will soon face another crisis, said an expert.

IJMA officials fear more trouble in the near future, if the current standoff with the Union government continues. However, Union textile ministry's decision to form a Jute Board has received thumbs up by the industry, which will see sufficient participation from both the industry and workers.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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