An e-governance initiative by the government, JUTE-SMART is a web based application that facilitates purchase of jute bags from the jute industry by the State Procurement Agencies (SPAs). It was launched by Union textiles minister Smriti Irani on the occasion of Good Governance Day on December 25.
The portal is designed to integrate the process of indenting of B-Twill by the SPAs, help payment of required fund by SPAs into their respective bank accounts and allocate Production Control cum Supply Order (PCSO) by the Office of Jute Commissioner.
The tool will also help in the generation of inspection calls by the jute mills and allocation of inspectors by the inspection agencies. It can also be used for uploading inspection report by the inspecting agency and dispatch information by loaders/jute mills for transportation and Container Corporation of India (CONCOR). Bill generation by jute mills and release of payment from respective banks to the jute mills is also possible on the tool along with complaint generation and real time reconciliation of funds remitted by the SPAs.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) decided to transfer the operation of purchase and supply of B-Twill sacking by SPAs from the Directorate General of Supplies & Disposal (DGS&D) to the Office of Jute Commissioner, Kolkata, with effect from November 1, 2016. Annually about Rs 5,500 crore worth of jute sacking is procured through support by the Indian government to support the Indian jute workers and farmers.
The erstwhile system relied mostly on paper and there were bottlenecks in information sharing between the stakeholders, mainly SPAs, the ministry of food and public distribution, jute mills, inspecting agency, loaders, consignees, pay and accounts office etc. Since B-Twill sacking is an essential requirement for procurement of foodgrains, the entire operation is time bound and needs to be closely monitored. In addition, the system provides for automated transactions through banks to reduce cost to the SPAs on account of loss of interest on their funds.
Indents of 3.01 lakh bales worth Rs 700 crore (approx.) have already been placed through JUTE-SMART in the month of November and December 2016 by SPAs from Punjab, Haryana, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Bihar and PCSO has been placed for these bales to the jute mills located in 7 states.
JUTE-SMART is a smart software platform which will significantly ease the process of B-Twill procurement by state governments and FCI, make the process completely transparent and rule based and also reduce costs for the SPAs. (KD)
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