The jute industry is under threat for partial dilution of the mandatory jute packaging order for 2017-18. “Tomorrow, a Standing Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting is going to be held to discuss jute packaging for the 2017-18 crop year. Along with food ministry, even Jute Commissioner’s office has favoured dilution,” jute industry sources told PTI today. The Jute commissioner’s office is likely to recommend dilution in the meeting for foodgrain packaging to 80 per cent against 90 per cent now. However, it favoured retaining sugar packaging at 20 percent.
Union Food Ministry has recommended 75 per cent for foodgrain and freeing sugar from jute packaging order, the sources said. In simple terms, the Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory Use in Packaging Commodities) Act 1987 mandates governments to use jute sackings for mandatory foodgrain and sugar packaging.
Currently, minimum 90 per cent of the foodgrains and 20 per cent of sugar is required to be packed in jute bags.The jute industry representatives said this year the production is adequate for smooth supply of jute packaging materials unlike last year when there were shortages. Any dilutions will put lakhs of jobs in West Bengal at stake both in at the farm and mill levels.