The Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) has sought reversal of the proposed 25 per cent dilution, recommended by the Centre’s Standing Advisory Committee in 2009-10, in the use of jute bags for packaging of foodgrain meant for government procurement.
Sources said, the recommendation for 25 per cent dilution has gained momentum and the Union textile ministry is learnt to have prepared a Cabinet note, upholding the move of the committee.
Concerned over the development, IJMA has approached Pranab Mukherjee and Mamata Banerjee, the Union Cabinet ministers hailing from West Bengal, to initiate steps at appropriate levels to reverse the proposed 25 per cent dilution. IJMA fears that the 25 per cent dilution would lead to use of polymer bags, which will reduce orders leading to production cut, closure of more jute mills and intermittent lay-offs in the jute industry. It has also written to Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, the West Bengal chief minister, on July 9 for redressal of the grievances of the jute industry, said Sanjay Kajaria, chairman, IJMA.
The jute association has sought Bhattacharjee’s intervention in taking up the issue of the proposed dilution with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran.
IJMA has called for continuation of the 100 per cent reservation for jute bags for packing foodgrain meant for government procurement under the Jute Packaging Materials Act (JPMA) of 1987.
The demand has been made by IJMA in the interests of the 4.4 million jute cultivators and industrial workers in West Bengal. The state has 59 jute mills.
The recommendation for dilution was made amidst concerns of a dip in raw jute production in the country and the projected shortfall in supply of 600,000 bales of gunny bags this year.